Government must act to extend voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds – Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Denise Mitchell TD, has called on the Government to commit to lowering the voting age to 16.
Speaking on the eve of the United Nations' International Youth Day, Deputy Mitchell said:
“This Government frequently speaks about the need to include the voices of young people in decisions which will affect their future. One very practical way they can do this is by giving a clear commitment to supporting the Bill brought to the Seanad by Sinn Féin's Fintan Warfield and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, and Independent Senator Lynn Ruane, which would reduce the voting age to 16 for Local and European elections.
“Four years ago the Constitutional Convention recommended that the State should consider lowering the voting age to 16. The Fine Gael and Labour Government of the time accepted this recommendation and committed to holding that referendum. But since then there has been no action on this issue.
“If this Government is serious about listening to young people, then it must act. Extending the political franchise to sixteen and seventeen year-olds will only serve to strengthen the political process and ensure that these citizens have a say in shaping their future.”