Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Wednesday, 4 July 2012 16:41 UK

Individual members debate on lowering voting age

The electoral commission should consider lowering the age of voting to 16, according to the Welsh Government.

AMs Julie Morgan, Aled Roberts, Bethan Jenkins and Paul Davies presented a motion calling for the voting to be lowered to 16 years in all elections and referendums held in Wales, on 4 July 2012.

Leader of the House Jane Hutt stressed that the involvement of young people in the democratic process was essential.

The Welsh government is in favour of lowering the voting age to 16, however it does not have the powers to do this.

The minister therefore urged the electoral commission to look at lowering the age of voting, on behalf of the young people of Wales.

Leading the debate, Labour AM Julie Morgan stressed the importance of including "as many people in the democratic system as possible".

Ms Morgan stated that the voting rights have been granted to 16 year olds in countries such as Austria, Jersey, Nicaragua, Germany and Hungary.

Conservative AM Paul Davies concurred with Ms Morgan's comments and argued that if 16 year olds were old enough to pay taxes, they were also old enough to vote.

Mr Davies said that it was about "trusting our young people and having the confidence in young people".

Conservative AM Darren Millar disagreed with the motion.

Mr Millar said that according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child means every human being below the age of 25 years.

The Conservative AM for Clwyd West believed that AMs were therefore being inconsistent in their arguments if we're they were saying that 16 years olds were "fully fledged adults".

He warned that if the voting age was lowered then surely, in order to be consistent, lowering the age of alcohol consumption and gambling should also be considered.

Closing the debate Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins welcomed the positive contributions of members from across the chamber and urged the assembly to vote in favour of the motion.

Read this in Welsh.

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