Should Australia lower the voting age to 16? We asked five experts

Sascha Petrova, Helen Berents, Jean-Paul Gagnon, Lisa Hill, Louise Phillips, Philippa Collin

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinFeatured article

Abstract

Voting is a key part of the democratic process. It allows all citizens of a certain age to have a say on matters important to them. Voting in federal elections and referendums is compulsory for every Australian aged 18 and over.

But decisions made by elected governments – especially in areas such as education, health and energy – impact young people too. Legal and political voices have long called for Australia to lower the voting age to 16. After all, people under 18 can leave school, get a job, drive a car and pay taxes. So why not vote?

A parliamentary inquiry is currently looking into the issue. In the meantime, we asked five experts their views. Here’s what they said.

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