Milngavie’s Ross Greer behind UK-wide petition to lower voting age
Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire has shown her support for the Votes at 16 campaign by hosting a meeting in Parliament last week for the steering group and supporting a week of action held by young people across the UK, from 5to 11 March 2012.
Throughout the Action Week, young people will be holding events and campaigning for votes at 16 by asking members of the public to sign the Votes at 16 e-petition, which already has well over 1,500 signatures.
Commenting Jo said:
“There are so many 16 and 17 year-olds in East Dunbartonshire who are responsible enough to work part-time and pay taxes, and yet there’s still this belief that they aren’t ready to vote in democratic elections.
“At the age of 16 people are young adults, inheriting a range of legal rights. It’s only logical that we should change the voting age to enable them to have their say in all elections.”
“I encourage everyone to back the campaign and sign Ross’ petition athttp://www.votesat16.org.uk.“
Chair of the British Youth Council, Liam Preston, said:
“I call on people of all ages to back this campaign and add their name to the petition. “
President of the National Union of Students, Liam Burns said:
“This is a real opportunity to energise young people into taking democracy more seriously. You might ask, what do young people care about politics? But if young people had a vote at 16, you would have taken youth issues more seriously.”
There are over 1.5 million 16-17 year olds denied the vote in the UK.
The Votes at 16 coalition is made up of over 70 youth and democracy organisations and chaired by the youth-led British Youth Council. It is calling on the government to recognise the rights of 16-17 year olds and to lower the voting age to 16 for all UK elections.
- 1. The petition states: “it’s time that young people were properly included in society, and shown the respect and trust that society expects of us. A 16 year old can: pay income tax and national insurance, obtain tax credits and welfare benefits, consent to sexual relationships and join the armed forces, yet they cannot have a say in the Government that ultimately controls these things. This is wrong.”
- Votes at 16 Coalition-/ votesat16 @byc.org.uk 020 7250 8377 Out of hours: 07809 507 356
The votes at 16 website: http://www.votesat16.org.uk
The Votes at 16 petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28
 All of the information referenced in the petition can be found on the Votes at 16 website.