From today (June 1) people aged 16 and 17 are legally allowed to vote in Wales’ national and council elections. The Senedd and Elections Act was passed earlier this year.
Around 65,000 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to cast their votes in next year’s elections in Wales, on May 6 2021.
For the first time, they will be able to have an impact in choosing who will represent them in the next Assembly.
Now, in a poll, which ran from 9am until 10pm on June 2, the Express.co.uk asked readers whether England should lower the voting age.
Around 7,202 people cast their votes and according to the results, there is one clear winner.
Express.co.uk readers vote on lower voting age
Expess.co.uk readers say voting age not lowered
Overwhelmingly 98 percent of voters (6,953) disagreed with lowering the voting age.
Just two percent (213) voted for and only 36 people said they didn’t know how to answer.
One reader believed 16 was “too young to vote” and how most 16 year olds “only think about themselves”.
They said: “16 is far too young to vote.
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Wales have lowered the voting age to 16
“The only thing most of them think about is themselves.
“As far as I’m aware they are not even trusted to get a mortgage or borrow money without a guarantor.
“Also I don’t think it is right that individual counties in the UK should have the right to allow this to happen individually, as it effects the whole nation.
“This should only be implemented by Westminster.”
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Election 2019 results
Others believe lowering the voting age favours the left.
One reader said: “16 year old kids are more likely to vote Labour and that is why they want the change and I don’t think that this is a matter for a local government as it is a national issue, time to rid ourselves of these expensive assemblies, we are the UK.”
With another echoing: “Crazy. It favours the left, as they been taught leftest nonsense since starting school and the saying… if you are not left when you are young, you have no heart
If you are still left when you are an adult.. you have no brain.”
Voters take to the polling station
Another believes if the government lowers the voting age they must “change all the laws” so they are applicable to 16 year olds.
They said: “If governments want to give the vote to 16 year old people they must change the all the laws so that they are applicable to 16 year olds in the same way as any adult.
“They should be allowed to drink, smoke, gamble, go to adult prisons, go to the frontline if they are in the military etc.
“All ridiculous but these laws must be introduced if they want a 16 year old to vote and have the same rights as an adult.
People take to voting during Scottish referendum
“Kids already grow up too quickly.
“Do we really want to take away from them the luxury of being irresponsible until they are really adults.”
Other people called for the voting age to be increased to 21 to 25.
One said: “The voting age should be raised to at least 25.
Elin Jones, a member of the Welsh Assembly
“The only reason for lowering it is because young people are easily manipulated.
“They have NO real experience of life.”
Regarding the lowering of the age in Wales, Elin Jones, a member of the Welsh Assembly said: “This was a vote to empower our young people to participate in the democratic process by extending the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds – a move which, for some, is long overdue.
“This Bill, in my view, will create a more inclusive, diverse and effective Senedd, and will strengthen our democracy for the twenty-first century.”
Nicola Sturgeon lowered voting age to 16 during referendum
In 2013, a YouGov poll showed that 60 per cent of adults in the UK are opposed to the idea of the voting age being reduced to 16.
When Theresa May was Prime Minister, she said: “I continue to think it’s right for it to be 18.
“Of course we now expect young people to stay in educational training up until 18.”
The organisation ‘votes at 16’ is urging the government to change the voting age in England.
Houses of Parliament
A petition to give 17 and 18-year-olds the right to vote has more than 8,000 signatures in the UK.
Founder Maymunah Azad said: “Democracy is the basis of Britain. Being able to vote is something that is a privilege and allows the people of Britain to take a say in how their future is affected.
“Unfortunately, those whose futures hang most on the balance are unable to vote.
“Just like the EU referendum in which some people who voted may not even see the consequences of their decision, us as the younger generation weren’t able to decide what happened to us.”
In Scotland, they lowered the voting age during the Scottish referendum.