An American Republican political consultant, gay rights activist, and the first announced candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2012 US Presidential election, has called for Votes at 16 in the United States.

Fred Karger called upon the Congress and the states to ratify the 28th Amendment to the Constitution in a speech to students at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College.

Mr Karger said: “I feel that we should immediately begin discussion and planning to lower the legal voting age in the United States to either 16- or 17-years-old“.

By allowing younger people the privilege to help shape the direction of this great nation, we will encourage participation in the political process at an earlier age and help to make better voters out of the next generation“.

The 26th Amendment to the Constitution brought the voting age down to 18. The amendment was proposed by Congress in March of 1971 and within four months, was ratified by three-fourths of the state legislators by July of 1971.

The rest of the speech can be read here.