In some countries such as Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Malta, Nicaragua, Scotland and Wales, the legal age to vote is 16. Other countries have wanted to follow in their footsteps but have not been able to.  

  • Pros:
  • 16-year-olds are just as knowledgeable about civics and have the same ability to make good voting choices as older voters.
  • Lowering the voting age to 16 increases voter turnout and develops lifelong voting habits.
  • At age 16, people should have a voice in the laws that affect their lives and a stake in the future of their country.
  • Cons:
  • Kids under the age of 18 aren’t mature enough to participate in elections.
  • The 18-29 age group has extremely low voter turnout numbers, suggesting that people aren’t ready to vote until later in life.
  • In the US for example, the vast majority of Americans of all ages and political views agree that 16-year-olds should not be given the right to vote.


At what age did you first vote? Do you think you would have voted at 16 if you had been given the choice?



  • Follow in someone’s footsteps: to do the same things that another person has done before.
  • Knowledgeable: intelligent and well informed.
  • Turnout: the number of people attending or taking part in an event, especially the number of people voting in an election.