Votes at 16

Votes at 16

You maybe knew that Welsh and Scottish 16 and 17 year olds get to vote in local and Assembly/Parliamentary elections. Did you know that many other countries around the world have also given young people the vote? From Brazil to Austria, Ecuador to Jersey - increasing numbers of countries are recognising that young people have the maturity and capacity to make informed choices in elections.

Politics in Action would like to see the rights that Scottish and Welsh young people have extended to Northern Ireland and we would also like to see the Irish Government reduce the voting age, as recommended in 2017 by their Citizen's Assembly. Not only will this help increase young people's interest in politics it will also mean that politicians across the island need to take young people - and the issues they face - more seriously.

We would like to see this right accompanied by high quality political education in our schools - and programmes like ours extended to more schools and youth work settings to help build young people's awareness and civic engagement.

Stay tuned as we develop this campaign with others and host discussion and debate with young people and others.

Portadown College student Sabrina Baptista recently did her work experience with us and did some more research into the issue. Did you know that women only got the vote in the UK in 1928 (only some women could vote before that date based on their wealth)? Then only men and women over the age of 21 could vote. The voting age in the UK was reduced to 18 in 1969.

At the very end of 2023 we heard that the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust will fund us to run a Votes at 16 campaign in Northern Ireland. We are in the process of recruiting someone to support young people to lead the campaign. We are also recruiting a Campaign Group, made up of young people who will drive the movement for Votes at 16. Are you under 18 and interested in getting involved? Join the Campaign Group here!

Join Us

Make Change Happen Today

Get Started Now