Tue, Nov 18, 2014 - Page 3 News List

2014 ELECTIONS: More than 80% of youth want voting age lowered: poll

Staff writer, with CNA

The vast majority of young Taiwanese aged 16 to 20 believe the voting age should be lowered from 20 to 18, the Taiwan Alliance for the Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare said, citing the results of a recent poll.

About 81 percent of the poll’s 13,027 respondents answered “yes” when asked if they agreed with lowering the voting age, the civic group said on Sunday.

“It is the voices of youths that have always been neglected,” alliance secretary-general Yeh Ta-hua (葉大華) said.

She urged lawmakers to respond to the request by starting the process to amend the Constitution, which stipulates that citizens must be 20 years old before they can vote.

Yeh said that 18-year-olds are regarded as full-grown adults who are obliged to pay taxes and serve in the military, and are held fully responsible for any crimes they commit. Despite those obligations, people aged 18 and 19 are not treated as “citizens” because they do not have the right to elect the nation’s representatives or leaders, Yeh said.

High school student Huang Chieh-an (黃倢恩) said at the press conference that while some adults see teenagers as “not being mature enough,” not all adults are mature either.

According to Ministry of the Interior statistics, there were nearly 650,000 people aged 18 and 19 in Taiwan at the end of last year.

The poll was conducted online and at more than 40 locations around the nation from Monday to Friday last week.

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