He’s also created a video message (see below) to accompany the petition, noting that although votes at 16 have been debated and defeated before, “this election is different”. Joe believes “this truly is a watershed moment for the country” and is calling on Theresa May to allow young people to have their say.
The petition reads,
The EU referendum result is often described as the ‘will of the people’. I’d agree, but I wasn’t allowed to vote in it. In fact, whilst the rest of the country was heading to the polls, I was sat at home, absolutely bricking it for my last GCSE physics exam. Despite it being the biggest decision of our generation, and one that would affect our futures more than anyone else’s, and despite the success of lowering the voting age in the Scottish Independence referendum, 16 and 17 year olds weren’t allowed to vote. When we need our voices heard the most, we were silenced.
This is not intended as a historical sob-story. Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that a General Election will be held on the 8th of June to secure a mandate for the Brexit negotiations. This is absolutely the right democratic move – the British public must be able to have their say on what we want from Brexit.
However, under our current voting system, 16 and 17 year olds won’t be allowed to take part. This needs to be changed – and fast, there’s only a few weeks until Parliament will dissolve for the campaign – so that we can have a say on our future. Votes at 16 has been debated and defeated before, but this election is different. This truly is a watershed moment for the country, and we need our young people to be a part of it. We cannot be silenced.
If you agree with me, please sign this petition and share it. Cynics will tell you that this petition won’t make a difference – in fact, the Parliament petitions page didn’t let me post this because, apparently, this issue has been addressed too recently – but they’re wrong. A million signatures won’t change the law, but every person who signs is another voice in the ear of an MP worried about losing their seat in 6 weeks time. Together, we can make a change. All it takes is a signature.
If you want to show your support head over to the petition site.