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Greens urge State Government to lower the voting age for Council elections

28 February 2024

Greens MLC Robert Simms has written to Local Government Minister Geoff Brock urging him to consider lowering the voting age in order to boost participation in local government elections.

“Young South Australians aged 16-17 are old enough to work, pay taxes, drive, even join the military. They are vital members of our community, yet they are excluded from voting in local, state or federal elections,” Mr Simms said.

“Lowering the voting age to 16 for Council elections would make local government more responsive to the needs and concerns of young people. Such an initiative would also have the potential to improve young people’s understanding of and engagement with civic and political life and could serve as a test case before potentially extending the franchise for state and federal elections down the track.”

“Given the consistently low turn-out at Council elections in our state, I urge the Government to embrace this opportunity to enhance local democracy and boost community engagement.”

Many places around the world have already lowered their voting age, including: Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina and Scotland.