Liberal Democrats on Cornwall Council have proposed a motion to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the Cornwall Council elections set to take place next May.
In 2016 Cornwall Council voted to support the reduction of the voting age to 16. The Conservative Government did nothing about this however, and so Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor Malcolm Brown has raised the motion for a second time. The motion which asks Government to allow a pilot for 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the Cornwall Council elections in 2021 will be debated at virtual Full Council meeting on July 7th.
Malcolm Brown, Leader of the Lib Dems on Cornwall Council said,
“If the Conservatives continue to oppose this, I anticipate that the vote at the Council meeting will be very close. I must say, though, that I would consider it a shameful result if the Council changed its mind from 4 years ago. The case for votes at 16 is even stronger now. As well as Scotland, Wales has recently introduced votes at 16. I would much prefer it if we were in line with our Celtic colleagues than the English.
“Think back to the Friday demonstrations by school children outside County Hall before the pandemic stopped them. Young people are probably much more aware of the climate emergency than any other age group and we should give them a voice. Our sixth forms and colleges turn out well educated, politically aware students who deserve a vote.”
“Think also about which age group is most likely to be harmed economically by the Covid crisis – the 16 and 17 year olds. Should they go to university? Will they get a job? Their future is even more at stake than anyone else’s. If they have votes, inevitably politicians will listen to them more. The time for votes at 16 has come and I want Cornwall Council to say so loud and clear”.