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Voting Age Amendment

18 November 2021

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I move:

Amendment No 1 [Simms–1]—

  • Page 3, after line 11 [clause 4, before subclause (1)]—Insert:
    • (a1) Section 4(1), definition of elector—delete '18 years' and substitute '16 years'

This is an amendment that seeks to change the definition of elector from the age of 18 to 16. Currently, as we know, voters go on the roll at the age of 18 in South Australia. This would make voting optional for people who are 16 and 17 in state elections. We in the Greens think that is entirely appropriate. If someone is old enough to pay taxes, old enough to work, old enough to drive, then they should be old enough to vote and have a say on the direction of our state.

We also face some big challenges at the moment. Those challenges are multigenerational. Issues like climate change—the impact of an issue like that will be felt across the generations. We know that young people, particularly of school age, have been leading the charge for climate action. They should have a say on the direction of their state and their country, and the best way we can do that is by giving them an opportunity to vote. We also see this as being an exciting way to engage people more in civics and improve understanding of our politics as well.