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Kelly supports Youth Forum campaign to lower voting age

15 September, 2017 - by Catherine Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Kelly said lowering the voting age to 16 would ensure that the rights of young people stay firmly on the political agenda.

Speaking after attending a Votes at 16 event the party’s spokesperson for children and young people said:

"A key way to empower young people to help them shape a more positive future is to lower the voting age to 16.

"Only by widening the political franchise can we guarantee that the rights of young people stay firmly on the political agenda.

"While some argue that young people just aren't interested in politics, the case has already been made to lower the vote with the 2014 Independence Referendum in Scotland where 75 percent of 16 and 17 year-olds voted.

"Sixteen and 17 year-olds will also live with the disastrous consequences of Brexit yet if they'd been allowed to vote, all polls suggest they could have changed the outcome.

"During this crucial period for the future of Ireland and the European Union, we need young people to have a voice in deciding our future role in a post-Brexit EU.

"It is disappointing that the DUP did not attend today's event and that the British Secretary of State James Brokenshire has yet to deliver on his promise to meet with the Youth Forum.

"Today's young people are the leaders of the future. It is vital that all political parties engage directly with them to hear their opinions."  

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