We want to be properly included in our society and shown the trust and respect that society expects of us, by giving us the right to vote. There are over 1.3 million 16 and 17 year olds in the UK still being denied this right. We are a campaign made up of young people, organisations and a network of politicians across the UK.
Engage 16 and 17 year olds at the ballot who hold many responsibilities in our society
Empower 16 and 17 year olds, through a democratic right, to influence decisions that will define their future
Inspire young people to get involved in our democracy
We believe it is impossible to justify the automatic and blanket exclusion of 16 and 17 year olds from the right to vote because, at 16, the law allows a person to:
There are over 1.3 million 16 and 17 year olds in the UK. These young people are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live, and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen.
Participation in free elections is a fundamental human right (protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UK’s Human Rights Act). Because of these laws the reasons for excluding people from the vote have to be fair and balanced.
16 and 17 year olds would be able to raise issues that are persistently affecting young people in their area and vote on whether the introduction of a policy would improve their area for the better.
Other countries have given their young people the right to vote. You can currently vote in the countries below if you:
16 and 17 year olds today are ready to engage and participate in our democracy, having learnt the principles in compulsory citizenship education. Through being a local youth councillor, a member of a youth parliament or their student union, they are already engaging in significant numbers. The next step is Votes at 16 – a move that would empower young people to better engage in society and influence decisions that will define their future.
Making young people wait is squandering their energy and passion. It is leaving it to chance whether MPs take into account the interests and perspectives of their younger constituencies.