New South Wales Labor MP Jodi McKay, left, appears in a young woman's selfie during the state election campaign. The MP has called for an investigation into dropping the voting age in Australia.
New South Wales Labor MP Jodi McKay, left, appears in a young woman's selfie during the state election campaign. The MP has called for an investigation into dropping the voting age in Australia. Facebook

Should under-18s be able to vote?

SHOULD we lower the voting age so younger people can have more of a say in politics?

A New South Wales Labor MP has called for the national and state voting age to be dropped to 16.

Strathfield MP Jodi McKay told the NSW Lower House in her maiden speech that young people were being kept from being involved in the democratic process, despite having passionate views.

"One of the biggest disappointments during the (state election) campaign was the general disinterest and lack of engagement of young women," she said.

"The fact that these young people are unable to have an immediate say on the future of education, on TAFE, on the environment, on health services and public transport, I believe does us a disservice."

If the nation wanted young people to be involved in politics, they needed to have a say, she said.

For now, voters must be over 18 to cast a ballot in state, federal and local government elections although they can register at 17.

"I see allowing 16 and 17-year-olds the opportunity to have a say as simply the ongoing extension of democracy in our community."

Ms McKay said she would ask the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to consider lowering the voting age, potentially on a voluntary basis.

 


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