Several European nations are considering lowering their voting age to 16.

A bill to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16 in local elections is advancing in the Estonian parliament, while Ireland’s Fianna Fáil party is calling for a voting age reduction in local elections by 2019.

Meanwhile, scholars at the UK’s University of Warwick debated the issue. Alex Smith of the Department of Sociology said, “In 21st century Britain, a 16-year-old can consent to sexual activity and get married; obtain a National Insurance Number or join a trade union; leave home and apply for a passport without parental consent; choose a [doctor] and consent to medical treatment. And with parental consent, a 16-year-old can also join the British Army and run the risk of being sent abroad to fight. But one of the very few rights currently denied to 16-year-olds is that to cast a ballot in a UK General Election. This, in my view, is unjust.”


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