Germany moves closer to lowering their national voting age to 16. Some regions of the country already have done so while neighbouring Austria had already lowered its national voting age years ago. (photo courtesy of the @dpa)
In what could be game-changing news for fellow youth enfranchisers around the world, Germany could be the next major nation to enfranchise 16-year olds nationwide. Last year, Berlin News reported that supporters of the move did not have the votes to make a change happen. However, after last September’s elections and recent events leaning towards that direction, a majority of liberal supporters, including the original backers of the move prior to last year’s election along with another liberal German faction, now have the majority to make this reform possible for the near future.
Although only 5 of the 16 German states currently have an avenue for 16-year olds to vote in political affairs, current supporters trying to nationalize the efforts say other states most likely will join the currents ones. The SPD faction leader, Raed Saleh, who leads one of several liberal factions within the German government also stated that “It’s high time for Berlin,” arguing that in German states where the voting age was lowered, many young people took advantage of their new right.
The German efforts to enfranchise more youth are also part of the global efforts to lower the voting age to 16 in countries around the world that I wrote about in May’s blog post. The coalition continues to grow, and we’re always looking for new global allies to help enfranchise fellow.