Votes at 16

This campaign is part of our work with the UK Youth Parliament.  YCAB is supporting this campaign as MK Council is a council that is supportive of Votes at 16 and that young people across the UK are supportive of it too as voted in the Make Your Mark Youth Ballot in 2018. This project will continue until the end of 2019. 


  1. Have performed to councillors and to young people a speech about Votes at 16 using theatrical methods and a Suffragette speech as a basis.  
  2. Will work with the Fuller Slade regeneration to encourage 16-18 year olds to vote in the

Why is this important? (taken from the UKYP website)

16 and 17 year-olds are not granted the opportunity to influence key decisions that affect their lives on a day to day basis. This means that many of their concerns are dismissed despite the fact many young people will engage when given an authentic opportunity.

It is also important to highlight that not all 16 and 17-year-olds across the UK have the same rights. In Scotland, 16 and 17-year-olds have been allowed to vote in all Scottish elections since May 2016. This step in the right direction was impacted hugely by the results of the Scottish referendum whereby 75% of 16 and 17-year-olds turned out to vote. This just goes to show that when young people are given the opportunity to influence a decision that shapes their future, they are eager to get involved.

Finally, there are no justifications for not aligning the rights of 16 and 17 year-olds with their responsibilities. Over 1.5 million 16 and 17 year-olds are denied the right to vote but are allowed by law to;

  • Give full consent to medical treatment
  • Pay income tax and National Insurance
  • Obtain tax credits and welfare benefits in their own right
  • Consent to sexual relationships
  • Get married or enter a civil partnership, with parental consent
  • Change their name by deed poll
  • Become a director of a company
  • Serve in the armed forces but not deployed on the front line

Last Updated: 1 August 2019