New Zealand’s High Court: Voting Age At 18 is Discriminatory

November 21, 2022

New Zealand’s Supreme Court has ruled that its current national voting age of 18 or older is discriminatory.

The case was brought by the organization Make It 16, which wants the voting age reduced to include 16 and 17 year olds. The group argued that young people should be able to vote on matters that greatly impact them, like climate change.

The high court ruling means Parliament must take up discussion as to whether the nation’s voting age should be lowered. It’s not a done deal, however. The centre-right National Party opposes the move. The Labour Party, meanwhile, has yet to state whether it would support such a move.

Following the ruling, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she personally supported reducing the voting age to 16 but added, “[I]t is not a matter simply for me or even the government, any change in electoral law of this nature requires 75% of parliamentarian support.”

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