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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 18:07 GMT
Island's voting age lowered to 16
Ballot Box
Most countries in the world have a minimum voting age of 18
Teenagers will be able to cast their vote from the age of 16 on the Isle of Man, after ministers agreed the change of regulation at the House of Keys.

Members voted by 19 to 4 in favour of an amendment to the Registration of Electors Bill, proposed by former Education Minister Steve Rodan.

The majority of countries in the world have a minimum voting age of 18.

About 2,000 16 and 17-year-olds will now be able to vote in elections for the Manx parliament.

"It may be that only a few 16 and 17-year-olds will want to vote," said Mr Rodan.

Votes for women

"But if we can get even a small number engaged at an early age it could lead to a lifetime's active interest in politics."

Ministers came to the decision at the House of Keys, which is the main branch of the Island's parliament, Tynwald.

A report from the UK Electoral Commission in April 2004 concluded that the voting age in the UK should not be lowered.

The Isle of Man was the first country in the world to introduce votes for women, in 1881.

The Manx parliament has two chambers - the House of Keys, with 24 members (MHKs) elected at general elections every five years, and the Legislative Council, with nine members (MLCs) mostly elected by the Keys.




SEE ALSO:
Call for people aged 16 to vote
02 Feb 06 |  Isle of Man
Government rule book goes online
30 Jan 06 |  Isle of Man
New drive to raise voter turnout
22 Oct 05 |  Isle of Man


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