'It's a human rights issue' Teenagers advocating to lower the voting age to 16

The AM Show 05/08/2021

Young Activists who want to lower the voting age to 16 are arguing that the High Court was wrong when they ruled that discrimination against 16 & 17 year olds was justified. They will be returning to the High Court on Thursday.

Over 2300 individuals have signed the youth-led petition to have the voting age lowered to 16. Make it 16 argued in 2019 that you can leave school, work full time, fly a plane solo and apply for a gun license at sixteen, so why can't they vote?

Co-director of Make it 16, Cate Tipler spoke to The AM Show and said,

"Voting is a human right, and we believe there's insufficient justification for blocking 16- and 17-year-olds from voting,"

"At its core, and why we're at court, is it's a human rights issue." 

"Giving 16- and 17-year-olds the vote will mean a stronger democracy where more voices can be represented. Aotearoa and the world are facing huge long-term challenges, and the political decisions being made today will affect young people the most." 

"In other countries like Austria and Scotland that already have a voting age of 16, we've seen 16- and 17-year-olds turn up to vote in higher rates than 18- to 24-year-olds, which proves that civics education shouldn't be a barrier to lowering the voting age."