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New Zealand’s top court rules that the voting age of 18 is discriminatory

New Zealand’s top court rules that the voting age of 18 is discriminatory

The ruling allows lawmakers to discuss the concept of lowering the limit to accommodate 16 and 17-year-olds, which an advocacy organization requests.

The country’s existing voting age of 18 was found to be discriminatory by New Zealand’s top court on Monday, prompting Parliament to consider lowering it.

The advocacy group ‘Make It 16” brought the case, which has been in court since 2020, and asks that the age be lowered to allow 16- and 17-year-olds.

The country’s Bill of Rights, which grants individuals the right to be free from age discrimination at the age of 16, was deemed by the Supreme Court to conflict with the present voting age of 18, which is 18.

The decision starts a procedure that requires the matter to be discussed in Parliament and examined by a select committee. However, it does not mandate that Parliament raise the voting age.

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According to the group’s website, there is inadequate justification to prevent 16-year-olds from voting when they are old enough to drive, have a job, and pay taxes.

New Zealand’s political parties hold varying opinions on the matter. The principal opposition party, the National Party, opposes the Green Party’s demand to decrease the voting age to 16 immediately.

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