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Talking Jersey

You are in: Jersey > My Island > Talking Jersey > Voting at 16

Voter places paper in ballot box

Voting at 16

The islands 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote at the next election.

After months of debate in schools, on the street and here on bbc.co.uk/jersey the voting age in Jersey is to be lowered to 16.

Jersey will follow the Isle of Man in reducing its age of majority from 18 to 16 after a two hour debate and fairly close vote in the States.

States members decided to give more teenagers to the right to vote in elections.

While some politicians thought it was merely well meaning, others argued it'll give teenagers a chance to influence matters that affect them.

Voters in polling booths on election day

Voters in polling booths on election day

Senator Ben Shenton was one of those who wasn't convinced.

He told the States "I wonder whether it’s the lack of electoral reform that this is a last desperate attempt to try and get voting figures up because we can't address what the public have asked for and reform the States".

However there were those in favour of the proposition, this band included Senator Paul Routier, who'd campaigned for people with special needs to have better voting rights. He said negative views were irrelevant.

He told the house "Some members are worried there is a danger, that the skies are going to fall in, that we're going to get ourselves into a position where people are going to make decisions we don't like - make wrong choices".

In the end the vote was carried by 25 votes to 21.

In her summing up speech, Deputy Labey felt that 16 and 17 year olds should be able to feel they have the right to speak to the islands politicians.

She said: "Why should they not be able to talk about such issues to the politicians on this island on equal terms as voters. Not only talk but crucially feel that their opinions matter and that they are being listened to as well".

Jersey will now join a small group of places from around the world that allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote.

That group includes The Isle of Man, Brazil and Serbia.

Brazil has compulsory voting for anyone between the age of 18 and 70, but allows 16 and 17 year olds to vote if they want.

Serbia and Montenegro have a voting age of 18 unless you’re employed at 16, in which case, you can then vote.

Over to You

How do you feel about 16 year olds having the right to vote in Jersey? Are you mature enough to make decisions on how the country is run at 16?

Now the voting age has been reduced to 16 should the age of becoming a States Member be reduced as well?

last updated: 04/07/07

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Zoe
I think that 16 year olds should be able to vote- i am fifteen at the moment & i think that most 16 year olds know more about politics than a lot of adults due to the fact that we are educated about it at school. My parents just vote without looking into the policies or anything but I know about the policies and I can't vote. It's not fair that young people don't get a say in how the country is run despite having to pay taxes and being able to get a job among many other responsibilities.

Angel Jones
I am doing a Persuasive essay in my English Advanced class on 16 year olds should be allowed to vote and tis was very helpful im happy thanks

Of course
Children still have their knowledge fresh in their minds when they leave. they have different views and instead of looking at the wide population of smart children, they choose the irresponsible side, when they themselves can be irresponsible far more than we can. What right to vote do they have that we don't? VOTES FOR KIDS!

Richard lancaster, aged 16
As a 16 year old I think that if a 16 year old is old enough to pay taxes raise a family and join the armed forces, then surely our opinions should be valid, if an adult finds young adults too ignorant too vote, then surely the adult is ignorant in assuming that 16 year olds are not interested in politics. I for one care a great deal in the status of the economy and where the government stands on this issue. If I am old enough to work and contribute to the society I am mature enough to vote. If I cannot vote then why pay taxes

saidah
i think it wouldnt be a good idea to vote i think they're not responsible me as a kid saying this

Matt
Well, i am a 16 year old that has paid taxes for 2 years now and i think i should be able to vote. If i was able to vote i am not just going to make a stupid choice i am going to get the facts. Even if most of the 16 year old don't vote, like most of the people now, there are some 16 year olds that are very acquisitive that would make the tenable choice. Every vote matters.

No, never.
I wouldn't know what to vote. The chances of voting for a scam, totally deceived, would be very high. I am worried about having to vote when I am 18.

MICHELLE AKA NEWNEW
I THINK 16 YEAR OLDS SHOULD VOTE BECAUSE THEY SHOULD HAVE A JOB BY KNOW AND THEY DO ALL THIS WORK THAT OLDER PEOPLE DO TO SO THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE PLUS THEY KNOW WHAT POWER THEY HAVE IN THIER HANDS AND THEY SHOULD BE MATURE BY KNOW AND SO THEY SHOULD GET CREDIT FOR ALL THEY DO SO THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE EVERY WHERE AND THEY HAVE PERMITS AND A CAR I THINK WE ALL KNOW THAT 16 YEAR OLDS SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE :) :) :) :) :) <3 <3 <3 <3 !

Alexzia
I think its a great thing to let 16 yrs olds have the right to voice their own opinion. I wish the nation would come together on this.

Lizzy
In this representative democracy elected officials are chosen to represent the people. No one is representing the younger people. This isn't just illogical but is also unjust.

Lindsey
Chris said:If 16 year olds are allowed to vote they should also be named if they commit an offence. They cannot have it both ways, maturity has its responsibilities Well Chris, very true but if you have to pay tax at 16 then you should definitely be able to vote as to what happens to your hard-earned cash like every other citizen. The Government can't have it both ways either.

Elzeabuth
I think voting at 16 is good and i think all states should have the same offer as Jersey had. We should all have the right to vote and the always do say children are our future so why dont they start by making us speak our minds

Chris
If 16 year olds are allowed to vote they should also be named if they commit an offence. They cannot have it both ways, maturity has its responsibilities

Jamela Tatum
minimum voting age should not change 16 year old boys are stupid!!!!!!!

Emma
I think that 16 year olds should be able to vote because they can become an active citizen, leave school to earn money, pay taxes (if they leave school and have a job) and marry at that age

Destiny kornegay
well this is not a last minute try to get politians up in the race, we the children of your so called future have a voice too and we demand it be heard you give us all the other privileges but not the vote. half the people thats voting now probably wont be around to see what next president is going to do for this country. we pay taxes,work,are able to sign ourself out of school and in the court of law were are old enough to choose who we want to be with in our family! so why cant we vote?

Montfort Tadier
I don't think people over the age of 18 should be allowed to vote - their minds have been corrupted by that age. Leave it to the youngsters. They are more intelligent.

Kimberly Bagwell
I think 16 and 17 year olds should have a right to vote and should have a right to choose who they want protecting them

jack zak
16 years old should not be allowed to smoke

justina
im 16 and i no im not ready to vote. its just too young

chimpface
16 year-olds are ignorant fools. This is ridiculous

PHILLY
I STONGLY THINK TEENAGERS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE

...
At 16 a lot of people are ready to vote, but a lot more dont give a damn and are REALLY influentiable. At 18 the percentage of ready people is about 60%, so voting could be reasonable

Richard
God help us all !What idiots voted this in

The Mission Man
16 year ols certainly should have the vote if we are genuinely trying to engage people in politics. What about a swap? Listening to recent debates we could actually remove the right to vote from 'politicians' like Mr. Guy De Faye - at least until they have proven they have the IQ and common sense to gain an A Level! (Actually, let's make that the old 11+ and give them a chance!!!!!)

Jesseeeekar
I think Tara Galsworthy's point is a very very good one indeed. i am in very strong agreement with her. As she has been visiting Jersey for a very long time i think that she has a very good idea about what it is like although if she has been going since she was 8 months old she should also be able to vote as being the Jerseys Glitter Girl she quite clearly has Jerseys best interests at heart! <3 x

Taupe
Teens should definitely have the right to vote. Sure, some couldn't care less, but the same goes with adults. Maturity is different from person to person, not just one age group to the next. We pay taxes, so we should be able to choose where the money goes, and vote on what we believe is right. We're not all the stereotypical teen most picture us as. We can think for ourselves and not follow the crowd. And, cheesemeister, women have the same right to vote as men and that will never change.

Fred
go 16 year old we should be allowed to vote !!!!!!! get over it were awsome n young u wish u was like us!

cheesemeister
Voting at 16! Good gracious me no. Bring back National Service,the birch and cold baths every day I say!!!!Lets have proper grown-ups like us do all the voting.We've made a jolly good job of it so far.PS:I don't think the lovely fairer sex should worry themselves too much about voting either.Just stay at home and bring up the sprogs for us chaps!

Ben
No problem with people voting at 16. But I do have a problem when a 16 year old commits a crime and is not named.You vote at 16, you also take responsibility. Let's have the law changed.

Dillon
And at 16, you can sign up for the army and, intheory, die for your country. Yet you're not allowed to vote.By the way Ryan, learn how to use apostrophes - "The Islands' 16 and 17 year olds..."

jerseyisdead
IMHO,The real reason so many States members voted against is that they know younger people tend to be more anti-establishment. Our beloved members will hopefully get a shock at the next election!SAY NO TO GST -Tax the Poor to Feed the Rich!

James Handy
I do not think that lowering the voting age to sixteen is wise because although many 16 and 17 year olds are interested in the goings on in the political world, most do not make informed decisions and often just go with what friends feel aswell. Atleast by 18 you are more likely to be responsible enough to come to an educated and informed decision.

Steve
Rhianna if you're going to compare what you can and can't do at 16 at least get it right.

1) Have sex - the age of consent for men and women having sex with either men or women is 16 in Jersey.

2) Drink - you can drink wine in a restaurant at 16 and can also drink at home but you can't BUY alcohol.

3)Drive - you can drive a moped and this law allows 16 and SEVENTEEN year olds to vote - you can drive at 17.

4) Get Married - you CAN get married at 16 with parental consent or without if you go to Scotland.

You can also join the army, pay tax and make many other decisions for yourself.

Sixteen year olds aren't children they are young adults - if they're old enough to be taxed by the government then they should have a say in how that government is made up.

Rhianna
I think it is anoter crazy idera by the states to get the votes, if at 16 "children" are considered old enough to vote then why are they not old enough to:~

1} Have sex?

2} Drink?

3}Drive?

4}Get Married?

Are they going to have to bring the voteing form home to mum and dad to sign it for them, because they are still a minor and undre the guidance of their parents?

Jersey wake up and get real before it too late, this is the same old addage as before it the big wigs dont like make a law and bann it, but if it may bring in votes well lets legalis eit absurde !!!

Paul
So Forster, presumably you are out campaining that the age of consent, the age to join the army and to get married all be raised to 18 - as you quite obviously think 16 is too young to know what you are doing?

Maybe we should all have to do a test to make sure we are intelligent enough to vote, right?

As for the spurious 'mature' arguments, David, have you considered the counter implication of your premise (that maybe old people are 'too' mature to vote, as their minds maybe 'too' primative and conservative to reflect modern society)?

Many old people'cannot even use a mobile phone or the internet, but they want to influence policies that will affect how you and I will live in the next 20 years, long after they are gone? I'd prefer to take my chances with the school kids.

Montfort Tadier
Or course we should lower voting age. If 'kids' are old enough to work, marry, have children and die for phoney wars at 16, they should be able to have a say in how policies will affect their spouses, their children and the possible laying down of their lives.

As the eternal liberal, however, I would go one step further and say, let anyone vote who wants vote - be they 6 or 60. The spurious argument that they are too young to know what they are doing doesn't wash; since when do adults need to prove a sound understanding of the political system to engage in the vote?

We do not stop senile people voting, nor should we. In fact, no, let's only those under 21 to vote; after all, they are going to inherit the world we 'grown ups'seem so intent on destroying

lil miss sunshine
whats the point they'll never change it anyway!!!!

forster
I dont think personlly that 16s should have the right to vote. since most of them didn't have a mature mind and knowledge to deffer between the good and bad. they dont know the consequences of a decission they make. i think it's good to vote at 18. because a lot of 16s still play video game and forget about the out side world. thank u

Southern
The vote at 16, I say yes, at least those sixteen year olds who bother to vote will actually not just vote for whichever waste of space is currently occupying the seat.I would like to see a proposition banning over 65's from voting since they are just a burden on the state why should they get a vote.For old people it's just something to fill their otherwise empty day, no wonder they turn out in their droves.

ken meyer
well said David Blaine

pHIL
Better policies, out with the old guard, in with new blood and voting at 16, just what we need. PS I am 50 this year.Phil.

jo
iam 17 i have been waiting for the time to come when I can Vote i what help jersey to be a better place to live

Jonathan
I agree with the law in Serbia and Montenegro that you can only vote at sixteen if your employed. because some of the laws made could affect your pay or hours of work. Also I believe that there should be more representatives for young people such as myself

David Haine
I'm 18, was strongly against voting for 16 yr olds when I was 16, and am strongly against it now.

As a 16 yr old, I know I wasn't mature enough to make decisions about issues such as tax and welfare, I wasn't informed enough to vote, and this proposal is dangerously close to voting shifting into a 'popularity contest', with more votes for who ever is most in touch with youth.

As a point, a recent poll of 15/16 yr olds at my school asked if they should have the vote. Most were apathetic until one person asked 'could we have a say in having a skate park?' Once this was confirmed, 70% of the year suddenly decided they had a pressing need to vote, despite previously only about 10% knowing the name of their local constable.

While a small percentage of 16 olds may be informed and interested enough to vote, that will be leaving a vast number of 'loose cannon' voters, using their vote as a novelty for whoever tickles their fancy.

What's more, In answer to those who say that 16 yr olds pay tax and should therefore be allowed to vote, 16 yr olds are still legally the responsibility of their parents until the age of 18.

Until they are adults, the law considers that their parents are responsible enough to act in their best interests, and the same should goes for voting too.

Giving 16 yr olds the vote is not the way to boost dwindling voting statistics.

Sqn Leader C Gull
16 years old to vote ?I shudder at the thought of mid teenagers, fresh from popping zits into a mirror, being able to have a say in how our government is run and elected.

16 year olds in Jersey are so incredibly spoon fed and cosseted that they wouldn’t last ten minutes in the real world.

Most of them can’t spell or string a coherent sentence together and if one is able to understand what they are saying and decipher the English language amongst the smatterings of “yeah” , “right” , “like” and “man” then you will come to the conclusion that they need a good clip round the ear, their trousers hitched back up to their waists, a thorough wash and then off to bed - letting ADULTS run things.

Note to teenagers …. Don’t chew gum and attempt to walk at the same time.

oz miller
i dont no why we can not vote what bad wiil come from it

Latina 4 life
I belive that teenagers should have the right to vote because if they have a say in society then there will be less violence because they are ok with whats going on.

marvel fan 07
i think the age should be raised to 21 because wolverine said so

luke turner 4 life
If 16 year olds can't vote because their not considered an adult then why can they be trialed in court as an adult. Most of 16 year old work, why should they have to pay taxes when they can't vote on who is incontrol of their future? I don;t think this is correct.

the dog
im 16 and i really dont care

mole
no1 cares bout kids antways so y do we bother

james
the states dont listen anyway

GoddessDivine
The age of consent should not be lower than the age of "majority"! If you are old enough to have children, you should be old enough to vote.

Harley Maugan
Hi there im 15 and would like to have a say in the country in the future but the voting age should not be lower than 16 because there would be some very silly and stupid votes if it was lowered too far.

Victor
i am 16 and im not degrading myself when i say i dont really have and interest in voting not have any idea as to the party's policies etc. I think that this issue has many cons and few pros/ Small % of teens care about the gov't. the minority shoudl;nt overpower. i wouldnt even like the option to vote

Deadra.
16 year olds are just not mature enough to vote. I'm not saying that 18 year olds are so mature and filled with political wisdom; that is not the case at all. I just think if they had this opportunity; they would take politics sell serious. Possibly thinking of it too game-like. I do not want to my home become some wild place, run by teenagers. Yes, I did just say that and I don't care what you people think.

Karis McNulty
I'm 17. I'm normal, and interested in politics, but i really don't think that many 16 year old actually give a stuff about voting ages. I really don't care for one, even though I havn't been 17 very long. Most 16 year olds don't have a clue about what happens in the giernment and politics. I don't even think many 18 year olds do either for that matter

Chasity
What would you do if you got the right to vote at 16?? Well im an upcomming 16 year old and I say: Let us vote! We ARE the future of America and we need a say in it. who said your mature at 18? we can drive, have a job and pay taxes, we can marry and have kids. Yes there are some immuture kids at 16 and 17 but why punish all?? there are lot of mature teens in America and there are also alot of adults that are not mature, and yet they can vote. No matter what age it depends on the knowlege of the issue....Adults that say "o well there not intrested" well im sorry bUT YOUR WRONG, there are alot of us that talk with friends and go see the canadents, the adults that say " they have no knowlge to vote the right way" need to stop...Adults should HELP us if they want us to make an informed dessision. Lets have mock elections in Social Studies, lets talk about canadenst in school, just get us involved more. and one more fianl thought, ; why should there be taxation without representation? that was used in the 1900's to denay the right of women to vote. it is as wrong now as it was then. Let us Vote!!!!

Terry
If a person is subject to taxation then they should be able to vote on how their money is spent. If they are then deemed responsable enought to vote what right have the authorities to deny them the same rights and responsabilities as other adults.

stepj
i think that the voting age should chage so i can vote for my leader ahahahaha bla blsa bls sls and it would be very fun hahaa

Erinn Chua
people aged 16 have their right to voice out their intentions for our country.

amy camilo
I feel that if at the age of 16 you are able to work(if not younger) and be forced to pay taxes than why should you not be able to vote and have a say in where your tax money is going. By giving the individual to have a say no matter how small, it will grow in time and will enhance the individuals disire on wanting to vote.

Josh Liron
As a 17 year old, unemployed student, i feel that i do not deserve the right to vote, if i was working full time and paying states taxes then of course I would definately like a say in who I am giving my money to. I think if i was given votarist status now, I would have no idea how to apply it. This wave of ignorance im sure is not solely applicable tomy self and i think more should be done to inform 16-18 year olds how voting works and how the states are governed.

Stefan Larder
Working at 16 means that you are contributing to a society that does not care about you, you are irrelevant! The vote should be given to any 16 year old who has joined the workforce. The fact that sixteen year olds have not got the vote is an extention of the continueing mal-treatment of teenagers in this country (lower minimum wage for example). If a sixteen year old lives on his own and works for his living he should be treated as an equal. If sixteen year olds are viewed as being too radical with their political opinions perhaps that's what we need. A broader electorate for broader policies instead of politicians trying to suck up to old people which is completely undemocratic and unrepresentative of the political viewpoint of the nations population.

smiles
we think we shud vote because then we get a say in wat we do and we dnt have to do wat our parents tell us to do. + we are the new voice of today so its our word that counts the most!!! so let us vote!!!!!

Jason Lavern
U ppl say that were illeterate huh?...well most of the teens on here have no problem with writing. We just take after our parents and are getting lazy. So we found a way to write faster and shorter, which wen u think of it is quite smart. Also many people on here that are of voting age write worst then us, they seem like regular texans 2 me!!I say yes let us vote, but only the working ones they kno what its like to played by the government.

Jason
I agree with most with the fact that 16 year olds should be allowed to vote ive been paying taxes for 2 years now and i still dont get to vote...I'm 17 and have had a few jobs, i have experience and live on my own...i pay everything an "adult" does y couldent i choose who im paying to. I know i only have 1 year left but im not the only 1 that this is goin to happen to there will be other teens that'l have the same perdicament as me. They should have the right and stand up for it allong with me...if only i could get more time away from work then i could participate in a petition. But im to busy raising money to pay the country that i have no say what so ever in!!

scott ruderham
if im being honest, i would say many of the Jersey population of 16 year olds have No jobs, no proper qualifications, but what they do bring is honest opinions and no bull!! 16 year olds should be allowed to vote for the simple reason- it will get these sad politicans to maybe open their eyes, and realise there is more to Jersey than hotels, blocks of flats and the usual rubbish! relise this politicans - there is no tourists here any more, so give the youth of Jersey what they deserve!

~Emma ~
I think teenagers should be allowed to vote as some people say children are our future and they are far more responsible and mature than we give them credit for i am a teenager my self and i have strong views on this matter.

John
If you can't write English correctly you should not be allowed to vote.

tara galsworthy
iv been going 2 jersey since i was 8 months old and i reackon it will be good 2 have the voting age 2 16 coz from 16 we r old enouth 2 know what we want

Judge Jeffries
The posters have a good point. If 16 year olds are to be taxed, they should have a say in how their money is wasted (I mean spent, no, I do mean wasted)

Freda Ruderham
There are many people who,at the age of 16, have more clarity of thought that some of the boring old... sitting in government. Their minds are not cluttered up with the garbage of upmanship,impressionism or self aggrandisement. Let them have their say in a constructive way, as some of them have pointed out, they pay taxes, so why not give them the right to vote. A breath of fresh air is what tey will bring,tempered by the wisdom of the really true,older politicians,when they finally get a vote into the government. Being aware of politics at an early age, makes for a more responsible government eventually.

Taylor
I think 16 year olds have the right to vote at the age of 16 because they pay taxes.

Suki
i think the voting age should be changed to 16 as it is unfair that we should take on adult roles such as work and and parenting and not have a say in society x

Iam a secret
i think it is very offensive to say that 16 year olds arent mature enough to vote and that the younger citizens should have a say in how the island is run!

John
I believe that the vote should only be available to males over the age of fifty who have passed a literacy and numeracy test.

Martin
The right to vote should be directly linked to taxation. If the States can tax me I should be allowed to say how my tax is spent.

If they don't want me to vote then they can change the taxation laws so nobody under 18 pays income tax if they like.

Lee
I heard Geoff Southern has said 17 year olds should be allowed to vote as well as new immigrants on the grounds of no taxation without representation.

Well what about my right as a working 16 year old? I pay tax so I SHOULD be allowed to vote.

Troy
Give people a choice? options? personal freedom? a say in their future? a chance at a better life?

Good lord!! Why on earth would anybody think that a good idea?!

It seems to me that if something is 'wrong' the only way to make it 'better' is the change it. Of course people are, in general, creatures of habit and many fear change. One group of people who generally don't fear change is the young, because they haven't become stuck in their ways change is 'normal' to them.

16year old voters present an interesting proposition in Jersey, if our education system does it's job and embraces the election process we'd see hustings in schools. The candidates will have a captive audience of voters who will no doubt spend more time discussing issues in class time debate as part of their studies than their parents will be able to devote to the issue between job/keeping house/ the school run. This will also give them a ‘leg up’ in understanding, and using to their benefit, the election process than many previous generations have had.

This group of young voters may turn out to be the most informed of all the voters, and the most willing to accept change. The opportunity is too good to miss, but I suspect we will.

Casondra Stoneburner
If 16 year olds can't vote because their not considered an adult then why can they be trialed in court as an adult. Most of 16 year old work, why should they have to pay taxes when they can't vote on who is incontrol of their future? I don;t think this is correct.

rachel
im a 16 year old and i would love to be able to vote. People my age can look at our country and see that the current government are ruining it! we deserve an opinion and at the moment all our protests are falling on deaf ears. We are allowed to work and can live our own independent lives.. only we can't. How can we be independent if we can't have our say about how OUR country operates and who runs it?

Mystified
What an interesting notion to encourage the Island to be governed by 16 year olds. Clearly, if this age group is more actively involved in the voting process than the apathetic existing electorate, then 16 year old candidates would inevitably take charge of the States and the various commitee decisions. Which is why the "good old boys" will never let it happen.

Freda Ruderham
Yes,I do think that at the age of 16, young people can contribute a great deal. The first thing they would contribute, in my opinion, is a breath of wonderful fresh air. At this age, they have strong opinions which they are not afraid to express. This they do, because their minds are not cluttered with all the garbage that older people have collected, on their way to becoming older. Furthermore,they are not bamboozled by the "old boy" system. The only people who would be against giving them the vote,are the politicians who quake at the thought of being out of a job, a well paid one! Lastly,they,the 16 year olds,would not become in time,politicians who are the puppets of the civil servants behind the scenes,who are really running the show;this has happened because the Jersey people,it seems, are considered too stupid to hold top executive posts; or make decisions themselves;utilise the talent Jersey people have. Let us have that gulp of fresh air,that is uncontaminated by age.

jaspals singh speech
Do you believe in 16 year olds? Yes they are very determined pupils that want to vote and belong to the society. This symbolizes maturity and reasonability from teenagers and co-operation in politics. What else do you want from a person do be able to vote at a age of 16, you cant really ask for anything more so let 16 year olds to vote and they will make a impact!!!

Ian
John - why not? The current 50+ voters that elect the government now haven't done a particularly good job.

In fact I think 16 year olds would be VERY good at electing the government - plus in Jersey they'd make up about 5% of the electorate.

John Bevis
I would not trust a sixteen-year old to choose a pair of shoes, let alone the island's government.

cindy
hi im 17 and to be honest i think 16+ should be able to vote as i dnt hink its fair that it's only the older people that get to. most 16+ are mature enough so let us vote aswell.

Toe Knee Blair
If 16 year olds are allowed to vote will there be a couple of extra boxes for them to tick? One for 'Yeah but, no but' and the other for 'Not bovvered'

Sara and Jessica
Were both 15 and we both think people 16 and older should be able to vote because this is when teens are starting to get a voice and they are heard. We are allowed to drive and get married but were not allowed to vote that doesn't sound right...

Harry
Given the illiterate standard of the postings by "pro-youth" contributors may I suggest that the minimum voting age be increased to 30, perhaps with a literacy test.

matt
I feel the vote should go to 16 year olds due to the fact that it will give them a short introduction to the polictical system and how it works .For this better more money needs to be spent for better education is needed

Desiree'
Hi i am 16 years old an I think that we should get a chance to vote the reason why I say is because we can be mature when we want to be an some not want to be mature but to be really honesty to we should have chance to vote for our government.

jonathan
i think we should have a chance to vote at 13. Because they want you to get a chance to get involved in this community. WE should get a chance to pick who run us.

hannah
you cant use the excuse that people under 16 are too iresponsible to voye when crimanals and law breakers get to vote

David
I sent an e-mail earlier in the debate in which I said that, as a Manxman, I supported giving the right to vote to 16 year olds. Well, today (Wednesday, 22nd November) is the day before election day for the House of Keys and recently released government figures suggest that over one third of the sixteen and seventeen year olds who are now eligible to vote have registered to do so. I personally think that this is quite a respectable take up by this newly enfranchised group and bodes well for the future. Parliamentary government has existed continuously in the Isle of Man for over a thousand years (the generally accepted date for it's introduction being 979 A.D.)and whilst Tynwald has not always been democratically elected it has at least been a form of representative government. I think that this heritage has been instrumental in both the decision by the Manx government to extend the franchise and in the take up rate.

RM
So caoimhe are you saying that adults are not swayed or biased (not biast) any more than teenagers? People vote for what they believe and want and that will be biased to their position and situation within life and society. Also if people were unable to be swayed or affected would governments spend so much money and time running advertising and PR campaigns to get them into power? You say how most teenagers in our society do not care, adult voting figures seem to show how little adults care as well with voter turnout almost perpetually below 50% and with many voting areas struggling to get above 30% in the UK at the last General election which is a trend reflected in Jersey. That shows how little the majority of the Adult society cares so should we not allow adults the vote? Then again although there are many politically aware adults in our society, a lot are not and most do not care.

caoimhe
you're all saying that "you feel" you could make the right choice in voting. we all 'feel' we're right as teenagers all the time, but the reality of the situation is that if teenagers voted at 16, their votes would most likely be biast. We'd be too easily manipulated and brain-washed to properly vote. We'd vote under the influence of our parents. Also, even thgough there are many politically aware teenagers in our society, most are not and most do not care.

Nicole Pennell
In my opinion 16 year olds aren't old enough to vote! So forget ya'll!!!!!!

Mystical Lexi
I think that peole who still live with their parents will be influenced to vote the same as their parents. Example, if a 16 year old's mother says shes voting for pre.busch in 2004; then a 9/10 chance says the child will also. 18 is an age just right for voting.

Gail
I say No, it should not be lowered to age sixteen, because when do teens really pay attention on democratic and political issues? Not all, the majority of them are too distracted on other things. If a sixteen year old was to vote, their decision would be influenced by their parents or by other around them but not of their own decision.

Anna
I agree very much with Ross' statement. Teenagers are stereotyped. We are not all yobs and criminals you know! That's the minority of teenagers, but we are all tared with the same brush. Teenagers nowadays can be much more responsible than adults. Another point that is being made by people who are opposed to voting at 16, is that apparently, teenagers don't know enough about politics and the government. My answer to that is simple: quit whining about us not knowing enough and teach us! Many teenagers I know are very interested in politics, because they want to try and help makt the world a better place - for everyone! I think we should be taught about politics at a younger age - get us involved instead of pushing us away! Many teens know alot more than others think they do.

Lilly
Politicians keep saying they want teeagers to get more involved with politics. Being able to vote is a good way of this happening. I personally don't think that younger generations are taken seriously by politicians, and it's about time they did! We are the future after all.

Nick Jouault
Why not lower it to 11, politicians have taken it upon themselves to tax schooling and books so why not not let budding adults have their say? They are also the future so why not get them involved from an early stage. Surely we should be embracing and helping to enhance our future rather than stiffle it.

Gal
I'm now 18 and can vote, but i have been working Full-Time since i was 16. A pay Tax and Social payments, i should have been allowed to vote seeing as i am paying States wages.

ASHLEY
WELL IM DOING A REPORT ON IF STUDENTS UNDER 18 SHOULD VOTE AND I SAY YES, I MEAN IM 16 AND I FEEL OLD ENOUGH TO MAKE DECESIONS THAT ARE GOING TO AFFECT ME IN THE LONG RUN.I HTINK THAT ADULTS UNDERESTMATE US "KIDS"

Glenn Anthony
I'm replying from New Zealand. I think people should be given the choice to vote at 16 whether they choose to or not to. Governments around the world need a lot more younger people involved in politics and local issues so if we can get them interested in voting and having their say while still at school it can be only better as they are likely to be our future leaders in government. I sure wished I had the choice to vote at 16. I'm 26 now.

simba
If people of whatever age are working and paying taxes then they are contributing to the economy of wherever they live. They should therefore be allowed to vote. Simple. Jersey will allow 16 year olds to vote and the 16 year olds will quickly become as disillusioned and untrusting of the farcical comedy that is this Islands government as the rest of the current eligible voters. Every election, of which there are far too many, we are asked why are voters not turning out? The simple answer is that the arrogance, pomposity, incompetence and failure to accept responsibility portrayed by so many politicians past and present is not appealing enough to entice one to ask for more of the same. Ive been here for 16 years and in all that time I can recall only 1 politician who got things done, was for the people and is respected by the people - Dick Shenton.

Sofia
People aged 16 should be allowed to vote-Im 15 and Im already a member of a political party! Trouble is, is 16yrds aren't given the right to vote then no one listens to them. Whats crazy is that 16yrds have to pay adult prices for everything and yet cannot vote! They pay taxes! In fact, many adults are less responsible that young people!

Lukw
Im 17. I think its unfair that they feel im responsible enough to rent a house, work full time, pay full taxes.. but not have a say on what my money is being paid on, its one or another, you cannot tax us as adults and treat us like children. Its out of order, its sick.

Jarel' Johnson 17 GMA @ Franklin
I say that teens such as 16 or even 15 should be able to vote because whether or not they vote can make a difference in the community and the country, even though its a major responsibility they have there opinion to who they want to run US or anything else and it can help in there community.

David
As a Manxman I'm in favour of offering the vote to sixteen year olds. Presumably those sixteen year olds who have an interest in politics will exercise their right - those with no interest will not - no different, in fact, to any age group. By the way, a particular thank you to Fred for his kind remarks - I think our early development is down to a diet of kippers!!!

Andrew Kirby
dude. im 15 and im really mature. i think that the 18 and over rule for voting is stupid.

dont vote
Teens should not vote. They are simply not responseible enough.

Jess
look at the number of pepole under 16 who have commented on this site. none of them seem to be ignorant or childish. if 16 year olds were given the CHOICE to vote, then the ones that are interested will do so, and the others will no be any worse off. its also very likely that most people who are interested in voting at 16 are educated about it, and have a constructed opinion and will therefore have a better opinion than adults who simply vote because they have to. It seems that there are a lot of people commenting on personal experience that they were not mature at 16. How many of you would have wanted to vote back then? No? then what's the problem Yes? so you think the choice you would have made then would have been wrong. I wonder what you'll think about the choice you made now, in ten years time... think about it 16 year olds should be given the opportunity to have a voice.

I hate america
16 year olds can vote. Can they drive a car. Yes. Do They get taxed. IF THEY HAVE A JOB. The constitution does not allow the government to tax without representation. 16 year olds can drive cars. Let them vote. Congress has stupid reasons for not letting them vote.

Michael Taylor
I think that if you can't vote at 16 you can't be taxed at 16 and personly, I dont want to wait an extra two years because your level of maturity will not be enough different. I want to vote at 16 too. Or not have any government involvement. Life Should be a little fair.

Tyler
Here in Australia the age for most things including voting and marriage is 18. Sure there are some 16 year olds ready to vote but at that age there is such a wide variety of difference in maturity and the extra two years can make a difference. Most 18 year olds are either in their final year of school or at university.

Ross
I am quite shocked and dissapointed to see some of the stereotypes aplied to 16/17 year olds here. Yes there are some yobbish U18s on the streets but there are yobbish adults too, do we say that they are not mature enough? at the age of 16 there are people who are educated enough and know whats going on poitically enough to make an educated vote, and referring to the post made by michelle she may not have known but thats probably because she was not interested.

In the same was as many of these posts have branded all 16/17 year olds yobbish idiots you could call many people in there 20's and 30's and even further on yobbish idiots, i refer to football holigans and the coutnless people in Jail or convicted of serious offences.

There ar idiots and yobs in all generations people just seem more shocked when it is kids and this is right but it DOES NOT mean there are not yobs in other generations.

The yobs also make up a very small amount of that generation but are the most talked about aspect, do people really think this section of society jsut vanishes overnight?? i think many people need to take a hard long look at some of the people within their own generation before so readily criticising others.

As for where i stand on the right to vote at 16, i believe you should be able to, it is a decision and a choice. I think more eduction in school about the political system and political issues to get people interested in the issues that effect them combined with the lowering of the voting age would also have a massive effect on the voter apathy seen today.

And for the record i am 17, am very opinianated and have many views on political issues and have done since before i was 16.

So before you brand all 16 year olds dumb stupid yobs who dont have a clue about issues at the time think about people in your particular generation who have the traits that i just mentioned above!!

Ryan (Host)
Warren & Ahmen - I see your point but in Jersey you're not allowed to buy cigarettes or smoke at 16, the States raised the age to 18 last year.

ahmed
surely if your allowed to buy cigarettes at the age of 16 your old enough to vote.

warren
i think at 16 if were aloud to smoke, rent a home ,have a child and legaly get married i think we should be able to vote dont you.

Vanessa
Teens that are 16 go to school pay taxes go to work everyday and they don't get that much credit they should be able to vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gwion
No taxation without representation. I'm 16 and if I had no interest in politics I wouldn't be reading this now. It annoys me how the government thinks that our voice is less valuable than 18 year olds, but still make us pay tax, and allow us to join the armed forces. Surely if we're ready to die we're ready to vote?

amela
Well I kind of agree with the voting being lowered to 16.Why?Because hey some people at the age of 18 are not even mature and some at 16 aren't either,I just think that they should give us a chance to prove ourselves.It just might work out for the better!!!

Shanon
I dont believe 16 year olds should be allowed to vote because at that age they havent even taken economics or government. Teenagers in this generation lack of information. Not all teens are responsible and because of this they shouldnt vote.

adam agen =)
i dnt think that only A/A* students shud only get the vote cos not only A/A* adults vote do they! thats kind of predjidits and its not fair on them

Liam Halliday
I believe the 14 year old had it spot on. Ever since Marshall proposed his 3 form of citizenship Governments have taken different stances. In the UK society is providing an assymetrical set of values. This is the case here, where children are expected to grow up faster (pay taxes at 16, some jobs now employ at 15, my NI number was sent 4 months before I was 16) yet we cannot vote until we are 18. Institutionally we are therefore being denied out political citizenship status, emplying that the state considers children to only have the most basic of rights. I was chuffed at being 18 1 day before the elections. I think most 16 year olds are just as capable as 18 year olds, the Government does simply not adress the needs of young people because they cannot vote, this is the reason for appathy among the young not a general non caring for politics. I fully support the lowering of the voting age

nick davies
i think public school and grammar school pupils who gain at least 5 A*/A's at GCSE should be allowed to vote, and likewise for state school pupils subject to them doing politics for GCSE and getting at least an A grade.

adam
i think we shud be able to vote cos be pay taxes to the government but we cant choose who we pay them to !! some thing needs to be done now taraxx

James Rondel
Al ot of 16 year olds would use their vote more constructivley than an adult!!!!!!

Emma
I Think You should give some mroe reasons to why The voitng age is good at 18, i need it for a projec.bye

Kneo
Another kneejerk reaction to try and get our voting rates in Jersey up. It'll work, too, until the novelty wears off for those teenagers who bother. Sadly all that the blip will do is hide the real problem and that is a convoluted electoral system full of rotten boroughs that allow umpteen politicians with little or no track record, vision or project management experience to get in with a few hundred votes or even none at all. The one hope if they do let 16 year olds vote is that it backfires because the teenagers prove more capable than their parents at sorting the wheat from the chaff. Sadly there's a lot of chaff about. I voted in the last Senatorials but I spoiled my paper in my Deputies elections because I couldn't find a single candidate that I could trust to do the right thing.

Michelle :)
No, I don't thin 16 year olds should be allowed to vote.Im 18 but i believe that I was too immature when I was 16 and I wasn't ready to vote. I really lacked information about politics at that age.

Clay
Are we just going to keep lowering the age of everything. Children are growing up far too quickly as it is must we keep giving them more and more responsibility.

Marnie
I hate to say it, but I sincerely doubt that many 16 year olds have the maturity to vote - you only have to look around our streets - God help us if these yobs get the vote!

David Singleton
I think 16 is too young ! However, I also believe that 75 is too old - there are plenty of gaga geriatrics who have the vote and that is also wrong. I believe voting carries a social responsibility and people need to be educationally fit to vote - I believe people should be made to apply for a vote - with a simple testapplied to it. We may get fewer votes - but the votes would come from people with a least half a brain.

Adolf
I believe anybody with an IQ of average or abve should be allowed to vote regardless of age - only problem is that we'd only have a few hundred voters on the entire Island

Leon
If you are old enough to smoke, get married, have children and own/be able to use a vehicle, then you should be able to vote, because your vote could be determining what is going to happen to you child/spouse/vehicle/health. I think that 16 year olds have the responsibility to vote, and it's not like you have to vote, it's up to you.

Fred
Most people on the Isle of Man reach their mental peak at 7, so I guess it doesn't make any difference.

Rik
Funny - when you are are 16 you think you know it all - but when you hit 18 you realise what a prat you were at 16, then when you're 22, you realise you were pretty dumb at 18- and so it goes on. Therefore I think no.

Jayne W
I think that if you pay taxes then you should be allowed to vote at under 18. If you don't pay taxes then you shouldn't be allowed until 18.

Brands
Jim,I guess I have been out of the island for quite some time, now...perhaps things have changed more than I envisage...

Jim
This would be the youth of Jersey who get in regular bar brawls and cause plenty of chaos... hmmm Brands your opinion on the Jersey is youth is very much far removed from reality. I have cousins in Canterbury and their children are very well behaved and intelligent in wealth creation as our their friends, much more so than many islanders of the same age!

Brands
As a Islander currently residing in Canterbury, I had the pleasure of attending an open public lecture headed by Lord Hattersley. Of the many questions fielded to him after his speech, the perennial matter of reducing the age of voting was raised. Lord Hattersley answered that 16 year olds did not have the necessary maturity nor experience to be able to vote; he was therefore against reduced the voting age.

I can understand that many 16 to 18 year olds don't have the knowledge, experience, maturity and werewithal of older people. Nevertheless, it is a stereotype to categorise all 16 to 18 year olds as ignorant and lacking political motivation.

There is a second point : 16 to 18 year old are by nature rebellious,and there is a risk that they would be more likely to support unorthodox,i.e., extremist organisations.

Objectively speaking, Jersey does not have a tradition of party-political extremism, so the argument that racist or xenophobic politicians might capitalise from their support is not valid locally.

Furthermore, if 16 to 18 year olds are allowing to engage in sexual relations and, for the time being, purchase tobacco, would it be a risk to allow them to activley partake in the democratic process?

I personally believe that many 16 to 18 year olds would not vote even if they were legally entitled to do so (the percentage of the adult population who don't is astounding); however, one should not bar those who wish to from doing so.

The majority of Jersey young people are fairly well-behaved and also wonderfully competent at creating wealth for themsleves - trust me, Canterbury youthes are quite coarse in comparison.

To allow an extra group of the population to vote would be an opportunity for the States to actually strengthen the bond of trust that exists between those in power and the common citizen.

Yes, the States should reduce the voting age and, in the process, empower and enfranchise more local young people.

Richard
I'm always disappointed to hear why 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote. They claim that they are able to pay taxes, marry, and join the armed forces; alas this is far from the case!!

If at 16 you are living with, or being supported by your parents, unemployed, or on benefit, you are not likely to be paying taxes!! Also, you cannot marry and join the armed forces at that age without your parents consent!!

Another thing that young people overlook, is that when you turn 18, you assume personal liability for your actions. This means you can have debts enforced against you, or sued by third parties, or be made bankrupt.

These are actions which 16 year olds would not want to be faced with, but might become obligatory if the voting age were lowered.

You are in: Jersey > My Island > Talking Jersey > Voting at 16

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