Guy Fawkes, votes for 16-year-olds and 6months to Senedd elections
Remember the 5th of November gunpowder treason and.. voting? Times have changed, you don’t have to follow the steps of Guy Fawkes to have your say in who steps into Wales parliament anymore. What makes the 2021 Senedd elections even better is that 16 and 17 year olds finally have the right to vote. After a lot of controversy, 70,000 more votes from young people will be added into the next Welsh Parliament elections. The general opinion is that this is a positive change for Wales and a step in the right direction. We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
In the next Senedd Elections in exactly 6 months time, for the first time 16 and 17 year olds will have the opportunity to vote. This is the biggest change to the Welsh democratic voting system since 1969.
The 2021 Senedd Elections will see 16 and 17 year olds voting for who will represent them in Welsh Parliament going forwards. This historical change to the Welsh voting process will allow 70,000 to have young people voting rights and the ability to have their voice heard.
The change comes with controversy, with the Welsh Labour Party and Plaid Cymru supporting the Senedd and Elections Wales Act 2020, but the Welsh Conservatives and Brexit party opposing.
Welsh teenagers, like those of Scotland can only vote in non-Westminster Elections, which is only increasing the pressure for England to create the same change, something that is becoming more and more expected by the public as time goes on.
There is an argument that young people should not have the opportunity to vote in this election as they are too young and too uneducated on Welsh politics to be able to form a well-rounded opinion on who should step into the Senedd next.
However, it is becoming increasingly clear through the use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, where young people can publicly display their opinions, that the younger Welsh generation are far more interested in politics than they used to be and that they deserve to have a voice in Welsh Politics.
Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones AM says that the change in voting is “long awaited” for young people in Wales. Elin said: "Votes at 16 will empower our young people to participate in the democratic process and give young people a stronger voice in the future of our nation.
"Empowering young people to vote at 16 is a powerful statement from the Senedd that we value their views.
"It will strengthen our democracy for the twenty first Century and bring new energy to our democratic process.”
In the same way that the Welsh political parties did not entirely agree on whether young people should be able to vote, the Twitter community are the same. Darth Grey (HouseofBomeor) says: “Do 16 year olds pay tax on any earnings? (Yes they do.) Therefore they should be allowed to vote. No taxation without representation.”
However, Tony (JoinRejoinEU) says: “There has to be evidence that the 16 year old age group is capable of not only voting, but critical thinking. Too many people listen to things and believe it. I can imagine 16 year olds might be more susceptible. I could be wrong.”
The easiest way to register to vote for these elections is online at the gov.uk/register-to-vote. It’s not too late to vote so register now!
It only takes five minutes to register. You just need your name, date of birth, National Insurance Number and address. It is such a simple system, so there really is no reason not to register!
We look forward to seeing the younger generation of Welsh voters have their say in the 2021 Senedd Elections on May 6th.