People aged 16 and 17 are now legally allowed to vote in Senedd and council elections in Wales.
The new law came into effect on Monday, June 1, following the Senedd and Elections Act, which was passed earlier this year.
Next year’s Senedd elections will be the first in which 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in Wales – with around 65,000 16 and 17-year-olds able to cast their votes on May 6, 2021.
The new law sees Wales follow Scotland in extending the franchise. Around 75% of 16 and 17-year-olds voted in the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014.
The right to vote has also been extended to foreign nationals who are legal residents in Wales.
The Senedd, which changed its name from The National Assembly of Wales earlier this year, is responsible for a number of devolved policy areas including health, transport and education.
A spokesman for the Electoral Reform Society, an organisation that campaigns for voting reform in the UK, said: “This is a victory for young people, following campaigning from ERS Cymru and a coalition of youth and civil society campaigners.
“The move in Wales means 16 and 17-year-olds will now rightly have a say over critical issues that affect their future, such as health, education and the economy.
“As we’ve already seen in Scotland, this is a boost for our democracy as a whole – strengthening citizenship and boosting political engagement.”
- Labour’s Jeff Cuthbert re-elected as Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner
- Regional Senedd Members for South Wales East confirmed
- Labour holds Islwyn: Rhianon Passmore re-elected
- Caerphilly re-elects Labour’s Hefin David as its Senedd Member
- Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney re-elects Labour’s Dawn Bowden as its Senedd Member
How can I register?
Anybody over the age of 14 can register to vote in Wales, providing they are a British or Irish citizen, or a foreign national living legally in Wales.
Registering usually takes around five minutes and can be done at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
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