Long disappointed that move to allow 16 & 17 year-olds to vote was not passed

Alliance MP Naomi Long has expressed disappointment that the amendment to the Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Bill which would have allowed 16 and 17 year olds to participate in next year’s planned referendum on electoral reform was not passed. Mrs Long MP voted for the amendment.

Naomi Long said: “Alliance believes that the voting age should be reduced to 16 for all elections. If people at 16 are old enough to pay taxes, then I think it is only fair that they have a say in how that money is spent and the opportunity to hold to account those who take decisions about it. Young people are as capable as anyone else of exercising their vote wisely.

“Allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum would have been a good first step to reducing the voting age generally and would have been apt, given that they would have been given the opportunity to influence something which will directly affect them in terms of the voting system which they will be using at the next general election. It is disappointing that it did not get sufficient support on this occasion, but I hope that there will be other opportunities in this Parliament to consider the issue again.”


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