HARLOW Conservative Councillor Joel Charles believes that the national voting age should be lowered by two years. Mr Charles visited Harlow College in April to speak to Journalism & Media students about lowering the political voting age from 18 to 16. Joel is currently the councillor for Old Harlow, and among many councillors from other parties, thinks that lowering the age will have a positive and beneficial effect on future elections.
‘The stresses and strains that young people go through, they want to have their voice not just at a local level but at a national level in the political process’ he said.
Mr Charles believes that there are no disadvantages to lowering the voting age and that it should be lowered as soon as possible. He spoke to the students about teenagers and young adults spending half of their time in classrooms being educated on what’s happening in their country, and he believes that they have every right to have a say and vote for their preferred political party. Young people are desperate to voice their concerns and struggles, such as unemployment and university costs, and have a say in what political party should be in power in Government.
‘It is the responsibility of us as politicians, to advocate ideas and policies that actually resonate with young people, whether it be affordable housing, mental health issues or crime’ he said.