Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds could soon have the right to vote at local council elections in Wales.
The new laws, which include giving young people the right to vote, are seen as the biggest change to the Welsh electoral system in 50 years. The proposal would also give all foreign citizens living in Wales the opportunity to vote in and stand in local elections.
The hope is that the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill will invigorate local democracy by widening the range of people who can vote and stand for office.
Students at Merthyr Tydfil College said they thought it was important for them to receive the vote.
Caitlin Foley, 17, who’s also a student at the college said the law would help young people get heard: “I think it’s a really good idea because it’ll give young people a voice.”
Local Government minister Julie James said the proposed law would ensure the public “feel well-represented and supported.”
Wales would be following in Scotland’s footsteps as 16 and 17-year-olds already have the right to vote in local and Scottish elections.
Young people deserve a voice in their community 📣
Today we’re introducing a bill to give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in council elections 🗳️
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) November 18, 2019
The proposal are likely to come into force by Summer 2020 although it would need to be passed by AMs before becoming law.