As of June 2020, 16- and 17-year-olds in Wales can now vote in local government elections as of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020. The last time the voting age was lowered, from 21 to 18, was in the Representation of the People Act in 1969. Which is a very long time ago.

Under this bill, it means 16- and 17-year-olds will now rightly have a say over critical issues that affect their future, such as health, education and the economy. People argue about our future now is the chance for us to say something.

The next Senedd election is due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021 to elect 60 members to the Senedd. It will be the first election in which 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to vote.

In elections for the Senedd, each voter has two votes in the additional member system. The first vote is for a candidate to become the Member for the voter’s constituency, elected by the first past the post system. The second vote is for a regional closed party list of candidates.  

This year 2021 I can’t wait to vote for the first time and truly have my voices heard (locally anyway).

Arwen Skinner