General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

What minimum age is the most common and what are some examples of the extremes in minimum voting age of democratic nations?

Asked by AstroChuck (36742 points ) November 6th, 2008 from iPhone

In 1971 the 26th amendment to the US constitution was ratified reducing the legal voting age from 21 to 18. My question asks if 18 is the age that most other nations follow that allow their people to vote or not. What is the youngest voting age in other countries? The oldest minimum voting age?

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11 Answers

shadling21's avatar

For Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey, the voting age is 16.

For Uzbekistan, it’s 25.

These are the extremes, as far as Wikipedia knows. Most others are 18. Rarely 17,19, 20, or 21.

flameboi's avatar

In Ecuador we (even though I voted against it) just approved a new constitution where people starting @ 16 can vote. From my point of view, it’s ridiculous and totally irresponsible, stupidity runs in the government here.

tinyfaery's avatar

There is very little, almost none, developmental differences between a 16 year old and an 18 year old. I think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote. I’d say a 16 year old is more aquainted with history and government than most voters.

shadling21's avatar

I’m down with 16, even though I understand the fear when it comes to reducing the voting age.

The only unfortunate thing is that many teenagers get excited about elections when they are in school, only to discover that they aren’t allowed to participate. High school is a more tight-knit establishment than post-secondary schools, and the transition often leads to a disinterest in the larger group. (At least, that’s how many of my friends felt when going to school.) By the time they’ve gone to university, their interests have wandered.

It’s when a person feels they are ignored that he/she begins to abandon interest in others.

Trustinglife's avatar

I’m almost too embarrassed to ask this question, but…

There are elections in Cuba? For what?

shadling21's avatar

@Trusting – Haha! I had just been copying and pasting and didn’t notice the strangeness of that. There is actually a Wikipedia article entitled Elections in Cuba that explains it.

fireside's avatar

@trustinglife – There are elections in Cuba? For what?

An impression of legitimacy

Trustinglife's avatar

Interesting – glad I asked.

marinelife's avatar

I disagree that are few differences between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old. There is a difference in analytical ability and decision-making skills. The frontal cortex is the last part of brain development. Even at 18, the brain is not finished developing, especially higher thinking skills.

The reason I was supportive of lowering the voting age to 18 is because we ask 18-year-olds to go to war. I think, because of that, they should have a say in government. That said, the military sure doesn’t have them running things.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well let’s get back on poofs message. If you don’t have the equivalent reasoning skills of an 18 year old you should not be allowed to vote. If reasoning skills are what
defines the criteria to vote, then it should apply to those over 18 as well

ragingloli's avatar

@marinelife
The way most adults vote (with their gut and according to how their parents vote or even pure habit) we might as well lower the voting age to 8.

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