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New consultation proposes extending the vote to 16 and 17 year olds for local government elections

The Cabinet Secretary for Local Government, Mark Drakeford AM, has released a consultation that proposes electoral reforms in local government, including lowering the voting age to 16.

The consultation looks at reforming local government elections in Wales following the passing of the Wales Act 2017.

The proposal was welcomed by Children in Wales.

Sean O'Neill, Policy Director at Children in Wales said, "The extension of the franchise to enable all 16 and 17 year olds in Wales to take part in local government elections marks another important step towards the full engagement of young people in our political system. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child last July called for the Welsh Government to consult with children on the voting age, and we will be encouraging all of our members and young people who we work with to have their say and to make change happen.”

The proposals were also welcomed by the Chief Executive of Llamau and the Director of the Electoral Reform Society Cymru.

Other proposals in the consultation include electronic voting and giving local authority councils the option of using a First-Past-the-Post system or Single-Transferable-Vote system in their elections.

For more information on the announcement, please see the Welsh Government website, here. The consultation for the proposals can be found here. It closes on the 10 October 2017.