Reducing the voting age to 16
The Assembly Commission intends to legislate to reduce the minimum voting age for Assembly elections to 16 in time for the next election in 2021.
The Commission’s decision was announced alongside the publication of a summary of the key findings of the its public consultation, Creating a Parliament for Wales.
The consultation, which closed on 6 April 2018, asked people in Wales to share their views on a range of proposals, including the recommendations of the independent Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform.
The Panel, chaired by Professor Laura McAllister CBE, recommended in December 2017 that 16 and 17-year-olds should be given the right to vote in Assembly elections.
More than 3,200 consultation responses were received. Respondents could choose to answer all questions, or just those of most interest to them.
Of the 1,530 who responded to the voting age question, 59 per cent agreed it should be lowered to 16 years old.
“Empowering young people to vote at 16 is a powerful statement from the Assembly that we value their views,” said Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales.
"Votes at 16 will have to be accompanied by appropriate political and citizenship education and public awareness-raising to ensure young people are encouraged and supported to exercise their right to vote.”
“We will work with the Welsh Government and other partners, including our own Youth Parliament to determine how best to meet this need.”
The National Assembly for Wales Commission has announced plans to take forward key elements of its programme to reform Wales’ parliament.
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