When you are an 18-year-old citizen in Korea, you can marry, obtain a driver’s license and become a public servant once passing the required state exam. You are also obliged to pay taxes on any income, and serve in the military if you are a man. But there’s one thing you cannot do ― vote. In Korea, 19 is the age when suffrage is given to vote for president, lawmakers, mayors, governors and other elected officials. For decades, there have been calls to lower the age to 18 to meet the age for other social rights and duties. The issue has re-emerged recently after President Moon Jae-in said he plans to include lowing the age of suffrage to 18 in his suggestions for constitutional revision. It has immediately drawn pros and cons, from both the civic and political sectors.
In the President’s proposals for changes to the Constitution, the voting age would drop from 19 to 18. Those aged 18 are usually high school seniors in Korea.
“From the Gwangju Student Independence Movement and the April 19 Uprising to the Busan-Masan pro-democracy movement and the latest candlelit protest, teenagers have played important roles, and their political capabilities and participation have changed the flow of history,” senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Cho Kuk said in a briefing, March 22.
Full Article: Lowering age to vote becomes hot political issue.