Sunday, January 08, 2006

Votes at 16


Dear Mr Khalid Mahmood MP,


As you will know the remaining stages of the Electoral Administration Bill will take place on January 11th 2006.


As part of the debate on the Bill, MPs will debate and vote on an amendment to be tabled by Diana Johnson MP to lower the voting age to 16.


I am writing to you to ask you to support the amendment to the Electoral Administration Bill to lower the voting age to 16.


I believe that keeping the voting age at 18 sends a message to young people that their views do not matter and will increase their disconnection from formal politics. At a time when turnout in elections is at an all time low and the Electoral Commission has identified a generation of people who may never vote in elections, we need action to reconnect young people with politics and I believe this is it.


Young people's lives are as rich and varied as at any other age. They have considerable responsibilities, and routinely make complex decisions, but they are still not allowed to vote. This is unfair.


At sixteen, young people will have just finished compulsory citizenship education and are ready if not eager to vote. Where this has been tried in Germany and Austria, turnouts have risen and up to 90% of 16 and 17 year olds vote.


I would be grateful if you showed your support for votes at 16 by voting for the amendment to the Electoral Administration Bill to lower the voting age to 16.


Yours sincerely,
Adam Nazir Ahmed Teladia

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