New Zealand lawmakers will debate and vote on whether to lower the national voting age from 18 to 16. The announcement made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came hours after the Supreme Court ruled that not allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote amounted to age discrimination. Ardern said that she personally supports the move, but campaigners admit that it will be difficult to get the 75% support needed from lawmakers to pass the legislation.
In response to the court’s ruling, a young campaigner said, “This is historic not only for our campaign, but for the country.” He made it clear that issues like climate change, pandemic recovery, and the state of democracy will most affect young people.
A number of countries are debating whether to lower their voting age. Some that allow people to vote at 16 include Austria, Malta, Brazil, Cuba and Ecuador.