The vote should be extended to 16-year-olds following the low by-election turnout 

The vote should be extended to 16-year-olds following the low by-election turnout 

“The low turnout in Friday’s by-elections shows the need for change and one positive change that could be made is to give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds." Pic: Larry Cummins

Teenagers should be allowed to vote in Ireland once they turn 16, Cork TD Mick Barry has said.

His call came after Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy announced plans to allow teenagers from 16 upwards to pre-register to vote so that they are automatically on the electoral register when they reach 18.

Mick Barry, the Solidarity Party TD for Cork North Central was also reacting to the low turnout in the four recent by-elections including a turnout of barely more than 30% in Cork North Central.

“The low turnout in Friday’s by-elections shows the need for change and one positive change that could be made is to give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds," he said.

"The climate strikes by school students have shown that young people are prepared to take political action in order to fight for their futures. If they are involved in politics on the streets they should be involved in politics at the ballot box too.” 

Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds have won the right to vote in other countries including Scotland where they can vote in elections to the Scottish Parliament.

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