Julie and Votes at 16
Julie Morgan first campaigned for Votes at 16 when she was an MP in 2007.
Julie had a Private Members' Bill - called the Voting Age Reduction Bill - which went through parliament in 2007-2008.
Unfortunately the bill ran 'out of time' (due to MPs 'talking out' the bill) but it influenced policy makers and became Labour Party policy, eventually becoming the law in Wales in 2019.
Now 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to vote in the Senedd elections in 2021
There was a debate in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) on the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill in 2019 and MSs voted for it to become law here in Wales to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Senedd elections.
A total of 41 assembly members voted for the bill, just exceeding the two-thirds majority of 40 votes needed.
Now it's your turn...Are you registered to vote?
To vote in the Senedd Parliamentary Election, you will need to register to vote by 19 April 2021.
REGISTER TO VOTE HERE: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
WHY DID JULIE CAMPAIGN FOR VOTES AT 16?
Julie said in 2008, during the second reading of her parliamentary Bill, "We are responsible to that electorate because ultimately they can vote us in or out. That is one of the reasons why we try to represent them well.I believe that to reduce the legal voting age to 16 is the only way to engage the young people to whom we desperately need to talk as politicians I believe is the only way to engage the young people to whom we desperately need to talk as politicians and the only way to send the message that we really care about the issues that affect those people."
16 reasons for votes at 16
These '16 reasons' were produced by the Votes at 16 campaign in support of Julie's Private Members' Bill in 2008.
You can read the whole pamphlet, produced with help from the Electoral Reform Society, here: www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/publications/16-reasons-for-votes-at-16
1. Young people want the vote
2. 16 and 17 year-olds are ready to vote
3. Citizenship education should lead to voting
4. Lose 16 and 17 year-olds and you risk losing them for life
5. Voting puts young people on politicians’ radar
6. No taxation without representation
7. More young people will be having a say
8. Equality of expression and the right to vote
9. Maintaining and enhancing protection, never weakening it
10. Civil society wants it
11. Addresses the population timebomb
12. Sent to war: denied the vote
13. Don’t be left behind
14. Politicians want it
15. Increase the diversity of the electorate
16. The time is right: the time is now