Democracy doesn’t start and end at the ballot box, but without a vote you don’t have a voice. Our current election laws leave politically engaged, impassioned young people voiceless and frustrated.
That’s why I introduced a Bill that will empower young people to participate in our democracy by expanding voting rights to give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in NSW elections.
In NSW, people aged 16 are allowed to work, have a bank account, pay taxes, learn to drive, leave school and begin full-time employment, and even be criminally charged as an adult. It’s time they were empowered to exercise their voice in our democracy too.
By giving 16 and 17 year olds the choice to vote, we will not only be empowering these individuals but also strengthening our democracy and our community.
Expanding our democracy can only serve to strengthen it. Young people have already shown us they have a strong and diverse voice, it’s up to us to decide if as a society we want to hear it.