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13 October, 2003

Young people and politicians debate voting age

Today a panel of politicians and young people will voice their opinions on whether or not to lower the voting and candidacy age.

In a Question Time style debate to mark the start of Local Democracy Week, students at Southwark College in London will put questions to a panel of MPs.

The panel will include Simon Hughes Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for London and London Mayor candidate, Charles Hendry Shadow Minister for Young People and Bridget Prentice Assistant Government Whip.

The Electoral Commission is currently carrying out a review of the minimum voting and candidacy age and is seeking wide responses to its consultation paper How old is old enough? At present, you have to be at least 18 to vote and 21 to stand as a candidate.

Glyn Mathias, Electoral Commissioner said: 'The Question Time debate is another opportunity to reach younger people, whose views we are particularly keen to hear on this important issue.'

Responses to the consultation paper should be sent to Anthony Bellringer at The Electoral Commission, Great Peter Street, London. SW1P 2HW, by Friday 31 October 2003. Share

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