The call of the June General Election once again brings up the much controversial debate: whether the voting age should be lowered to 16. This discussion came to light in the UK when the country was torn between “Brexit or Remain”. A change in demographics would have certainly impacted the results seeing as 75% of 16-17 year olds (1.5 million people) would have voted if given the opportunity- and it’s easy to see why. We must live with the decisions for over 70+ years.

Prime Minister May is calling it to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations; the results will affect every aspect of the rest of our lives from education, to jobs, to travel, to peace, and politics.

The Brexit polls showed that only 34% of 18-24 voted, yet they are the group who are most affected by the decision. Having the right to vote at 16 years old would stimulate an interest in politics, since apathy was the main preventer of 18-24 year olds voting.

That being said, I do not think the voting age should be lowered. Giving my peers the right to vote before we are educated and experience enough to make truly informed decisions would be a disaster. If more of us want to get into politics, we should start on a more local level- at school or within the borough. Furthermore, most teens are not likely to have formed their own ideological positioning. We are heavily influenced by the beliefs of our teachers and parents.

By Angela Okafor, Bancroft’s School