Malta has become the second country in the European Union to lower the national voting age to 16. The revised voting age, down from 18, was cemented into law on Monday evening, with MPs voting unanimously in favour of a third reading of a Bill to amend the Constitution to that effect. 16- and 17-year-olds will now be able to cast a vote at national and European parliament elections, having been already granted that right for local council elections back in 2014. Their first opportunity to exercise this new right will come during the 2019 European Parliament elections, with the lowered voting age expected to add up to 8,500 votes to ballot boxes. Politicians from either side of the House were quick to celebrate the news on social media, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat saying Malta had “made history, again” by passing the law.
In a statement, parliamentary secretary for citizenship Julia Farrugia Portelli noted that Malta was among the first 10 countries in the world to extend voting rights to 16-year-olds.
Malta’s move follows the precedent set by Austria, which introduced a 16-year-old voting law back in 2007. Brazil, Cuba and Nicaragua are among other, non-European countries to grant the ballot to voters that young.
Full Article: 16-year-olds granted the vote in national elections.