The ACT Greens have joined forces with youth advocacy organisations and local young people to table a Bill that would enable 16 and 17 year old Canberrans to vote in ACT elections.
The legislation, being put forward today by Greens youth spokesperson Johnathan Davis and Greens democracy spokesperson Andrew Braddock, is the ACT’s first standalone Bill on voting rights in 25 years, giving Members of the Legislative Assembly an opportunity to empower more of their constituents.
“Extending voting rights will strengthen our democracy, giving more Canberrans a formal say in how the ACT Government should work for them,” Mr Braddock said.
“Empowering these Canberrans, many of whom are more engaged in politics than their parents or grandparents, will result in better, longer-term policies, and deeper engagement with young people on decisions that could affect the rest of their lives,” Mr Davis said.
Extending voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds is being pursued by Greens around Australia, including in the Tasmanian, South Australian, Victorian and Federal parliaments. In many countries, such as Germany, Scotland, Austria and Malta, it is already the norm.