Activist group backs voting age change

POLITICAL activist group GetUp! has backed Greens leader Nick McKim's pledge to lower the voting age in Tasmania amid opposition from Labor and Liberal leaders.

In a statement released at the weekend, Mr McKim said the Greens would amend the Tasmanian Electoral Act to provide 16 and 17-year-olds the option to vote.

An opt-in system for 16 and 17-year-olds would give "motivated and engaged" young Tasmanians the opportunity to vote, Mr McKim said.

The compulsory voting age would remain at 18.

The same motion was quashed in parliament last year.

GetUp! spokesman Matt Levinson said the Greens' commitment was a "common sense" approach to encouraging young Tasmanians to become actively involved in political issues.

"This is a community that will be the voice of the future," he said.

"The more they can be brought in on these big political decisions the better, because ultimately it's their future at stake."

Mr Levinson echoed Mr McKim's assertion if 16 and 17 year olds were old enough to drive, they were old enough to vote.

"This cohort can already work, drive, join the armed forces, pay taxes and live independently," he said.

"They are already contributing to our society, and should be making decisions about how their taxes are spent and who leads their country."


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