General Article For and against: Lowering voting age

Topic Selected: Citizenship in the UK
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With the next General Election some three years away, we in PoliticsLab asked how members of the public feel about the current minimum voting age: 18. Do they think 18 is the right age to be afforded the right the vote in elections? Or did they think the age needs to go higher or lower?

Discussions over the voting age are inevitably tied up with that small matter of the ‘age of majority’, or the age at which individuals are recognised as adults in law.

Where some feel that the voting age should be lowered to 16 – the same age at which you can legally marry, have sex, and enter the armed forces in most of the UK, others think that 18 is still too young an age at which individuals can start voting in elections. Instead, some argue that people should be given the vote in their twenties, once they’ve gained some life experience, are paying taxes, and can think independently.

Back in 2004, the Electoral Commission – the independent body in charge of running and monitoring local and ge...

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