020 7250 8377 votesat16@byc.org.uk

Here are some of the most common questions about

the Votes at 16 campaign

If there is anything you’d like to know more about, please drop us an email and we’ll be happy to answer your questions

Who are the Votes at 16 Coalition?

The Votes at 16 Coalition campaigns for 16 and 17 year olds to be able to vote in all UK public elections. We are made up of leading youth and democracy organisations from across the UK. You can find our more about the Votes at 16 Coalition members here by visiting our Who Are We page.

Who can join the Votes at 16 Coalition?

If you are a charity, local authority, youth council, student union, school council or another group that wants to join the Coalition, please contact us at votesat16@byc.org.uk or on 0207 250 8377.

Why should we lower the voting age to 16 in the UK?

The Votes at 16 Coalition believe that 16 and 17 year olds 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.

We believe that participation in free elections is a fundamental human right. People who can work full-time, pay income tax or national insurance contributions, get married or enter a civil partnership, consent to medical treatment, and join the armed forces should be entitled to this right.

For more information go to the About Votes at 16 page.

How did the campaign start?

The Votes at 16 Coalition was launched in 2003. You can read more about our history in the Campaign History page.

How can I support the campaign?

From signing up to be a supporter in 60 seconds, to arranging a meeting with your MP – visit our Get Involved page for lots of ideas of how you can take action and get your voice heard.

Where can I get some Votes at 16 campaign materials?

From posters to petitions you can download campaign materials from our Get Involved page. To order leaflets and campaign badges please Contact Us.

I’m doing a school project on lowering the voting age, how can you help?

You can research about why the voting age should be lowered to 16 and find out who is part of the Votes at 16 Coalition in About Votes at 16. You can also find case studies of what people across the UK are doing to support the campaign in our Support Showcase.

You can find inspiration on how to run your own campaign on Votes at 16, with resources and top tips for campaigning in Get Involved.

You can create your own posters and campaign materials by downloading resources in our get involved section. To order leaflets and campaign badges please Contact Us.

How can I campaign on this issue in my local area?

There are many different ways you can do something locally to support the Votes at 16 campaign – whether this is in your community, at your school or in your college or university. Find resources and downloads here.

How can I run my own campaign on votes at 16?

Have a look at our Votes at 16 Campaign Handbook which gives step by step advice, top tips and exercises so you can get started campaigning in your local area for Votes at 16.

Do other countries have votes at 16?

You can currently vote at 16 if you:

  • Live in Argentina – voting is obligatory for people aged 18 to 70, but is optional for those aged 16 and 17 as of 2012.
  • Live in Austria
  • Live in Boznia and Herzegovina – 16 year olds can only vote if they are in employment
  • Live in Brazil
  • Live in Cuba
  • Live in Ecuador
  • Live in Estonia – only in local elections
  • Live in Germany – 16 year olds can only vote in some State and Municipal Elections
  • Live in Guernsey
  • Live in Hungary and are married before the age of 18, this grants you with full adult legal rights and can therefore vote
  • Live in the Isle of Man
  • Live in Jersey
  • Live in Malta
  • Live in Nicaragua
  • Live in Scotland – 16 year olds can vote in Scottish Parliamentary Elections and Local Government Elections
  • Live in Switzerland – only for cantonal and municipal elections in the canton of Glarus
  • Live in Wales – 16 year olds can vote in Welsh Assembly Elections and Local Council Elections