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#Vote16Wales – Presiding Officer launches Wales-wide conversation about lowering voting age


Should young people in Wales be able to vote in elections from the age of 16?

The National Assembly for Wales's Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, thinks that they should.

Today (20 November), is the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, and Dame Rosemary is launching the six-month Votes@16 conversation with 11 to 25-year-olds in Wales to find out if they agree.



"The young people of Wales can serve in the armed forces, pay taxes and get married at the age of 16, so why can't they vote?" the Presiding Officer asked.

"It's seems to me that 16-year-olds can be asked to contribute to their country's wealth without being able to have a say in how that money is spent.

"Last week the Westminster Government announced that they would legislate to allow 16-year-olds in Wales to vote in any future referendum on the devolution of tax-varying powers to Wales.

"Would it not therefore follow that they should be able to vote in all elections?"

"That's why today I am launching a national conversation with young people to find out what they think."

To take part in the Votes@16 conversation, visit the 'Your Assembly – your say, your way' website at where young people will be able to take part in an online survey.

Information will also be available through the Assembly's Twitter feeds @YourAssembly and @AssemblyWales.

  • The Assembly's education and outreach teams will be attending youth group meetings, and creating information packs to allow young people to hold the debate themselves.
  • The Your Assembly website will be updated regularly to let young people know how the conversation's developing. The Assembly will also post all relevant information on the website - including resources and discussions hosted by other organisations interested in this issue.
  • When evidence and data has been collated, the Assembly will hold a youth day in July to consider the results and what should happen next.

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