Wales have now followed scotland by granting the vote to sixteen and seventeen-year old's in council elections.

The Labour-controlled government are trying it as part of new voting incentives and methods to increase voting numbers.

Another idea is to set up mobile voting stations in some less than expected places, such as supermarkets and leisure centres and to consider digital voting.

Accessible and increased voting

The aim is to make it as easy and accessible to encourage more voters rather than the traditional trundle to the local village hall or cricket club to register your ballot.

Alun Davies, the cabinet secretary for the local government and public services has been vocal on the radical move by saying that the young are disengaged from the political process, so it gives them a chance they otherwise would not have had.

Some, however, have been quick to shoot the idea down saying that sixteen and seventeen-year-olds are too young to fully understand or be interested in voting. Journalist Leo Mckinstry has voiced his opinion for the Express by saying that it would be a mistake to give the vote to the younger generation.

He went on to point out that anyone under the age of eighteen is legally considered ‘a child’. It appears the debate has started a conversation that has been slowly simmering away for several years but has been heightened by the popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who is making politics more appealing to the teens by making it relevant.

He even attended famous music festival Glastonbury last year.

The Guardian Newspaper asked a few sixteen and seventeen-year olds if they should be given the right to vote. Chloe 16, said that old stereotypes about youth should be forgotten and that we should have faith in the younger generation.

At the age of sixteen legally in the UK, you can consent to sexual activity, buy a lottery ticket, be held accountable for criminal activity, enlist in the army and register for marriage (with parents co-consent).

Future say?

It could be argued that if they can make some potentially life-changing choices at sixteen, they should have a say in their future too?

Mckinstry argued that teenagers do not have any connection with the real world and are too busy being led by the indoctrination of social media. However, with their future depending on what we decide should they not have a say?

Surely with the way social media has revolutionised information sharing they are in fact more informed than previous generations?

If the last referendum is anything to go by, these decisions will affect their generation with things like education cuts, university fees and wage cuts is it not patronising that we are not giving them more credit by saying that they are uneducated on the matters such as income tax when they themselves are contributing to it?

Cross-party support

They are taxpayers, they are working in the NHS and perhaps they are being somewhat exploited by not being able to stand up for the decisions that are being made for their future. The UK Labour party introduced the private bill to reduce the legal age of being able to vote to 16 back in November 2017 but it was ‘blocked’, by Tory MP’s despite cross-party support.

Unable to buy tobacco, alcohol, get a tattoo or pay council tax do the teens have the life experience needed to vote? A comment left on the Express website from ‘JWilliamson’, says perhaps we should be looking at raising the age of the vote to thirty when we all have some life experience behind us.

Perhaps, we are just making the decision we think is right at the time. Surely a teen's vote is better than a wasted vote?

With the present stand on the voting situation for under 16's by our current government, it doesn’t look like they will be granted the same privilege as their Welsh and Scottish peers just yet.