A very interesting Private Members Bill to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16 has just started its passage through the House of Lords, where it begins its journey.
Private Members Bills, unlike other Bills, can start their Parliamentary adventure in either House, and this Bill has started to wend its way through Westminster, starting in the House of Lords. They are introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers and although they rarely make it to a stage where they are enshrined in law, they can sometimes create momentum around an important issue and affect current legislation indirectly. Here at Researching Reform, we very much hope that this Bill, sponsored by The Lord Tyler, will be ratified.
The first reading took place in the House of Lords on 9th May with the second reading yet to be scheduled. You can look at the proposed Bill here or you can check it out on our blog, reproduced in full below:
Extend the franchise for parliamentary and other elections, and for
referendums, to all citizens over the age of 16 years.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1Reduction of voting age
(1)The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows—
(a)in section 1(1)(d) (definition of voting age for parliamentary elections),
for “18” substitute “16”; and
(b)in section 2(1)(d) (definition of voting age for local government
elections), for “18” substitute “16”.
(2)In the Representation of the People Act 1985, in section 1(5) (entitlement to vote
of overseas electors), for “18” substitute “16”.
2Short title, commencement and extent
(1)This Act may be cited as the Voting Age (Comprehensive Reduction) Act 2013.
(2)Section 1 of this Act shall come into force on 1st January 2014.
(3)This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We will look forward to seeing how this Bill goes…..