European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Vote @ 16 Campaign

Group of young people, vote at 16
Read about the National Youth Council's of Ireland campaign to have the voting age in Ireland lowered to 16.

What we want

We want the law changed so that 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in the National, Local and European Parliament elections.

The age at which an individual can vote should be reduced from 18 to 16 years of age in local and European Parliament elections. Given the decline in voter participation, we believe the best way to address this problem is to implement a series of measures to facilitate a greater voter turn out, particularly among young people.


Success at the Constitutional Convention

The campaign is gathering momentum - members of the NYCI Vote@16 youth campaign group presented to the Constitutional Convention on Saturday 26th January 2013 on the issue of reducing the voting age. See them explain some of the reasons for reducing the voting age to 16 in this clip


In March 2013 the National Youth Council of Ireland welcomed the Constitutional Convention's formal submission of its report to the library of the Houses of the Oireachtas. The report confirms the Convention’s recommendation that the voting age for all Irish citizens in elections should be lowered to 16 years of age, and the Government must now respond with a debate in the Oireachtas within four months.


NYCI are delighted with the recommendation that the voting age be lowered, as the Youth Council has led the campaign on this issue since 2009.  Young members of the NYCI Vote at 16 Campaign group campaign presented their arguments for a lower voting to the Convention in January. It was heartening to see that their arguments were taken on board, and that the work of the campaign has paid off. 


Why lower the voting age?

• Improve low voter turnout

• Young people should have a greater say in decisions & actions that affect them

• It would motivate young people to participate in democracy earlier

• It would make it easier for local authorities to ensure young people are on the electoral register

• It would encourage politicians to create policies answering the specific needs of young people.

• Rights and Responsibilities

• As young people can leave school, seek employment, pay taxes and can be criminally convicted at 16 they should be able to influence decisions that impact them

• The Irish Government promotes active citizenship & the right to vote is one of the most central components of citizenship

• More young people have to vote to avoid a democratic imbalance as the population of Europe is getting older and older.

• Other countries have lowered the voting age, such as Austria. 

Published: Tue, 21/05/2013 - 17:23

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Related links

Info for young people in the western balkans

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