Gazette readers give thumbs up to lowering voting age

Shields Gazette readers say the minimum voting age should be reduced to 16.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 10:02 am
Should the voting age be reduced to 16?

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to push Parliament for a General Election in December, we asked you: “Should the voting age for a general election or second referendum be lowered to 16?”

At the time of writing, around 3,200 people had voted in our Facebook poll; 61% said yes, 39% said no.

Wilf Flynn was in no doubt, saying: I’ve always supported votes at 16. It was good enough for Scotland in the Independence referendum. That should have been the watershed for change.”

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Racheal Milne agreed. She said: “My 17 year old daughter is in South Tyneside youth parliament and has been for a few years. She is definitely mature enough to make an informed decision on who to vote for. I think voting age should be reduced to 16.”

However, not everyone thought it was a good idea.

David Elliott said: “I'm sure there are those wise enough but putting the future of our country in kids that in a lot of cases can't even dress properly, would be a demographic tragedy.”

But Chelsie Jade Boyack said: “My six year-old has a better grasp of politics than some adults I know. By 16 most people have a grasp on their own morals, ideals and basic belief system that shapes their political views. Of course they should have the vote.”

Michelle Sambora was also certain – but with the opposite opinion.

She said: “How about raising the voting age to 21. No point in having 16-17 year-olds voting. They can't officially buy cigarettes, alcohol, fireworks, knives, age-rated dvds, bet in a casino or betting shop, get a tattoo.

“They can't even work full time unless it is in an apprenticeship or training yet they expect to have a say in running the country. Like hell.”

Dean Swan came up with a novel compromise.

He said: “Yes, if they can answer a 10 point questionnaire and with an 80% passmark … should be the same for all. Is that a little controversial?”