Sunderland Echo readers give thumbs up to lowering voting age

Sunderland Echo readers say the minimum voting age should be reduced to 16.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to push Parliament for a General Election in December, we asked you: “Should the voting age for a general election or second referendum be lowered to 16?”

And with speculation rife the country could have another vote on Brexit, appropriately enough the Facebook vote was split 52/48.

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Many people felt education and understanding were more important than age.

Lynn Murphy said: “Most adults to date still don’t understand politics, and just vote the way their parents voted.“Unless politicians are going to simplify the way they explain policies, so ALL 16-18-year-olds can understand them fully, then no it shouldn’t be reduced.”

Kev McQuillan agreed: “Regardless of age people should have to pass some sort of intelligence or common sense test before they can vote.

Several people felt the importance of the upcoming vote warranted giving young people more say.

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Al McGrath wrote: “If ur [sic] old enough to pay tax then ur [sic] old enough to vote,”, while Lloyd Watkin said: “As it's their future we'd be ruining by leaving the EU, it's only fair they get a say” and Rolinda Paterson-Hall added: “I do think 16 years old should be able to vote - My son Connor is 17 1/2 and it’s his future and others we are voting on.”

Davo Davison was less impressed: “Voting should be heightened to 21. That way all the university students who are told what to do by liberal left professors for ‘extra credit’ can think and vote for themselves,” he said.

Elizabeth Warren argued: “Young people today are more savvy about politics. They are taught in Primary school as to how to use a ballot box. The same primary school children vote for elected members of their year to sit on school councils,” but Linda Willmott said: “The way some of the kids today perform, the voting age should be INCREASED to 21. Lots of 18-year-olds are still too immature today”, while Maureen Williams said “What 16 year old has the sense or knowledge to know who to vote for?”