Lower voting age ‘first step’ to voluntary voting, Young Liberals say


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“It does make eminent sense for the Electoral Act to use equally throughout the total cohort of people that can vote.”

The Younger Liberals have advocated for voluntary voting since making it an official coverage place in 2005, nevertheless its president admitted there wasn’t a lot scope for change on that entrance.

Federal Young Liberals president Josh Manuatu, who has warned against lowering the voting age to 16.

Federal Younger Liberals president Josh Manuatu, who has warned towards reducing the voting age to 16.

The organisation was the one youth department of a serious political occasion to make a submission to the inquiry, and its submission was certainly one of two towards reducing the voting age, the opposite being from the Australian Christian Foyer.

“When it comes to the voting age, we respectfully say that we consider the age of majority is rightly set on the age of 18,” Mr Manuatu mentioned.

“Given it is very tough to choose a spot the place individuals instantly turn into politically energetic or politically engaged, we expect one of the best place for that age to remain at when it comes to voting is age 18.”

Regardless of the opposition by the Younger Liberals to reducing the age of voting to 16, 16-year-olds stay eligible to hitch the organisation.


Whereas 16- and 17-year-olds make up six per cent of its membership, members underneath 18 are in a position to run for office-bearing positions and vote on procedural motions.

Mr Manuatu mentioned solely a small variety of these underneath 18 participate within the organisation.

“The Younger Liberal motion is successfully an opt-in organisation the place individuals be part of the motion. Not everyone seems to be required to hitch,” he mentioned.

“Solely about six per cent are underneath the age of 18. Of that, those that come alongside and are energetic contributors could be a comparatively small quantity.”


The inquiry, arrange by Greens senator Jordon Steele-John, was dismissed by the Younger Liberals of their submission as an ill-designed try for the Greens to extend their vote share.

When questioned in regards to the submission, Mr Manuatu mentioned the motive behind the inquiry needs to be examined.

“If you’re attempting to vary the legislation on the idea of attempting to extend or lower a vote share I feel that may be a unhealthy motivator for altering the legislation,” he mentioned.

A last report into whether or not the voting age needs to be lowered is predicted to be handed to the parliament by December.

Andrew Brown is a journalist on the Sunday Canberra Occasions. Andrew has labored on the Canberra Occasions since 2016.

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