Three in five young people believe the voting age should be lowered
Three in five young people in Victoria believe 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in elections, according to a new survey by the Victorian Greens.
The survey, which received 1,058 respondents, asked young people for their thoughts on politics and the issues that mattered most to them ahead of the upcoming local council election.
More than 60 per cent of respondents indicated they would like to see the voting age lowered, and 85 per cent cited voting as the most important way to engage in politics.
Other key results from the survey include:
• One in four young people (25.8%) weren’t aware that the local council election was coming up
• Only one in three young people (32.1%) were certain they could vote for a councillor who represented them
• Climate change was the most important issue to respondents (85.2%), followed by First Nations justice (39.5%) and services for health and wellbeing (31.7%)
Victorian Greens MP Sam Hibbins said that young people were concerned about their future now more than ever, and deserved to engage in our democracy and demand change.
Hibbins added that with a local election coming up in Victoria, now would be as good a time as any for the state government to rethink its opposition to young people having their voices heard in politics.
There are roughly ten countries around the world that have already lowered the voting age, as well as several municipalities and states.
Earlier this year the state government voted down an historic amendment by the Greens which would have seen the voting age lowered to 16 for local elections.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for youth, Sam Hibbins MP:
"The COVID-19 crisis has made clear that young people care about their futures, and they deserve to have a say come election day.
"Young people should have the opportunity to vote in elections at all levels of government.
"Climate change, First Nations justice and services for health and well-being are just some of the issues that young people are raising. They are engaging in our democracy and demanding change."
Quotes attributable to Greens candidate for Moreland City Council (North-West Ward), Angelica Panopoulos:
"We need more young people represented in all levels of government because it is us that will either prosper or suffer through the actions or inactions of those in charge.
"It's our future that's at stake - why shouldn't we determine it?"
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