Jo backs votes for 16 and 17 year olds

Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire is backing calls for 16 and 17 year olds in East Dunbartonshire and the whole of the UK to be given the vote after the House of Commons passed a motion calling for a change in the law last week (24thJanuary).

A commitment to extending the franchise to people aged 16 and over was included in the Liberal Democrat manifesto ahead of the 2010 UK general election.

Commenting, Jo said:

"I have been calling for Votes at 16 for years now. Young people have an enormous amount to offer our society so I think it is right that they should have the vote.

"Considering that 16 and 17 year olds can get married, pay tax and join the army it's deeply unfair that they are not included in the democratic process.

"The Liberal Democrats are committed to creating a fairer society and we believe that as part of this, 16 and 17 years olds should be allowed to vote in all elections and referenda.

"This is why I welcome that the motion, tabled by Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams, was passed in the Commons last Thursday."

The text of the motion is: That this House believes that the age of eligibility for voting in all elections and referenda in the United Kingdom should be reduced to 16.

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