Our right to vote shouldn’t be defined by age. This week’s Young Reporter article

Compared with my past two articles, I feel strongest about this cause the most. There are so many reasons why 16 years olds should have the right to vote. we have proved that we are responsible enough to carry that burden and make the choices Therefore for my final article I feel the need to praise the media for guiding these young minds into being more involved in both local and national politics, helping to mature quicker and open their minds to something bigger like the future of our country.

Our government has decided a 16 year old is mature enough to marry, pay taxes, leave home and even die for the country yet can’t decide our future for our children and our careers, instead those life changing decisions are left in the hands of people who aren’t even socially conscious of the impacts their careless votes have. To have sex and have a child, the legal age is 16.  So, if you are deemed old enough to become a parent, get married and contribute to the country as a working citizen, whilst still in education, you should be deemed old enough to decide who makes the policies that will greatly affect your life.  This as oppose to sitting on the side-lines, helpless to the disaster that is our government.

Even as a thirteen year old, when I was nowhere near voting age, I knew that we shouldn’t be leaving the European Union. Some social media platforms may not be the most reliable source, but it can be a way to encourage the younger generations to seek out the information we need to know to determine how we can plan for our future. This shows that the social media that engulfs our lives can help the unaware teens to find resources to prove we are serious about voting and we can do it maturely. Believe it or not we have been independent since our first day of year 7, when we are told to start preparing for life in lessons. We take in 6 hours of new information every day, so why are we still deemed to be too young to vote?

By lowering the age to 16, millions of more people will be fulfilling their right as citizens to vote. Considering they are eligible to pay taxes and contribute to society through working or joining the armed forces it’s not fair to tell them they are too childish to deal with the responsibility of voting. If a “child” is willing to give up their life to fight for their country, why can’t they vote for the future of the country they are risking their life for? The law is flawed in the sense that they want to give these teenagers the responsibility, as long as it benefits them and their needs as a government. More people need to realise that generations are growing up faster than past ones, and through social media we see what horrors happen in the world. Anything we can do to make that change in politics will help us develop into the civilised young adults that we need to be for our future.

I’ve spoken a lot about the future but in reality the change needs to be happening now. Their is always chatter about lowering the voting age but nobody ever listens or takes it seriously. Whether it be ignorance or not taking the new generation’s intelligence seriously, the expectations of 16 year olds now is astounding: Picture this, doing tests and assessments every week, for each subject, having mocks twice a year, revision every night for every subject, stressing every night that these exams mean life or death, then sitting them and still be expected to be the best of the best. As a nation the amount of stress and responsibility that is put on teenagers shoulders is astonishing and the fact that our government still believe 16 year olds are too immature to vote is a slap in the face. With all our education and promotion of politics in school and on social media, I think it’s time action is taken.

Article first appeared in Grimsby Telegraph 24th September 2019
By Young Reporter Hannah Wilson