The Citizens’ Assembly recommended in its report on The Manner in which Referenda are held & Fixed Term Parliaments (June 2018) that the voting age should be lowered to 16 years as a means to increase voter turnout at elections. While the Assembly voted by 80% in favour of a reduction in the voting age, it is noted that the report did not specify the election or elections to which a reduced voting age would apply although the Citizens’ Assembly did briefly refer to the deliberations of the Convention of the Constitution in this matter.
Against this background, the Convention on the Constitution examined this issue extensively and in line with the majority opinion of its members, the First Report of the Convention on the Constitution, which was published in March 2013, recommended that a referendum be held to amend the Constitution to reduce the voting age to 16 years of age. The Convention also considered whether the voting age should be reduced for some types of elections only (e.g., local elections). The majority view (68%) of the Convention did not support a reduction in the voting age for specific types of elections only.
While the Government has accepted the recommendation from the Convention and is committed to the holding of a referendum to reduce the voting age to 16 years across all elections, no decision has been taken at this point in time on a date for the holding of the referendum.