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Votes at 16 – a young person’s viewpoint.

The subject of votes at 16 has been in the news a great deal recently and is something that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have long called for.

This week the National Assembly produced a report following a Wales wide survey of young people which asked their opinion son whether 16 year olds should be allowed to vote. 10,375 young people responded and 53% said that the voting age should be lowered.

Rhys Morgan of Pontypridd is one of the many people who joined the Welsh Liberal Democrats in recent months and as a 17 year old he has taken a keen interest in the debate.

"Being allowed to vote at 16 would come with a level of responsibility not seen in the United Kingdom before. It is the chance to express views and opinions, and ultimately help decide who runs the country, and by what means they do it. Having turned 17 a few months ago, the chance to vote being given to 16 year olds would then give myself the opportunity to represent my own views.

"Until recent times, I was none the wiser as to distinguishing the various voting systems, the values of different parties or how politics can influence our everyday lives. I was not a unique case. Many young people, and indeed older ones, simply are not educated enough to make informed decisions. But I do not think this should stop the rest of 16 year olds from voting. There are countless examples of knowledgeable young people who have inspiring ideas on policies, parties and how the country should be run. They should be able to vote on these views for the party they feel represents those most."