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Wales Teenagers to gain votes at 16 in Welsh local government elections

TEENAGERS in Wales will be given the right to vote in council elections from the age of 16 under plans announced by the Welsh Labour government.

Local Government Secretary Alun Davies said the proposals — to be formally announced tomorrow — were designed to boost participation as he was concerned that young people were being “disengaged” from the political process.

At the British level, Labour urged the Tories to give all 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in general elections, arguing that only allowing over-18s to participate was “inconsistent and unsustainable.”

Shadow voter engagement minister Cat Smith said: “The time has now come for the UK government to extend the franchise to all 16 and 17-year-olds, and ensure equal voting rights across the United Kingdom.”

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) backed Labour’s call, saying there will soon be “glaring constitutional injustice,” with 16-year-olds able to vote in local elections in Scotland and Wales while around a million people of the same age in England and Northern Ireland will be denied that right.

 

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