Wayne David, Labour MP for Caerphilly and Shadow Minister for Constitutional Reform, today took part in a debate in the House of Commons calling for on the government to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in elections.
In a vote at the end of the debate, MPs overwhelmingly supported a reduction in the voting age.
Today’s debate in Westminster follows on from a vote in Cardiff Bay in July last year in which Assembly Members also called for on the UK government to reduce the voting age to 16.
Speaking after the debate, Mr David said, “When I visit schools and colleges throughout my constituency I am continually impressed by how engaged young people are in political issues.
“The evidence clearly shows that the earlier people get engaged with the politics the more likely they are to vote in future elections. By allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in elections, together with strong citizenship education in schools, I think it will help increase the number of young people who choose to participate in the political process.
“At the age of 16, people can leave school, get a job, pay taxes, become a director of a company, get married, change their name by deed poll, consent to medical treatment or even join the armed forces. But at the moment they are not allowed to have a say in how their council is run or their country is governed. The time has come for the Government to change this – it is time to allow 16 year olds to be able to vote.”