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Motion to lower the voting age to 16 in September

Wahlalter 16

The plans to lower the voting age from 18 to 16, which have been nurtured in the Berlin House of Representatives for some time, are taking shape.

"The motion on the voting age of 16 will probably be introduced in the first session of the House of Representatives after the summer break on Sept. 7," SPD parliamentary group leader Raed Saleh told the German Press Agency. "My goal is to have it passed before the end of this year." In addition to the coalition partners CDU and SPD, Saleh said the Greens and the Left also support the plan, which would then come into play for the first time in the 2026 election for the House of Representatives.

Lowering of voting age requires two-thirds majority

Until now, 16- and 17-year-olds in Berlin have been able to vote in elections for district councils. Following a change in the law at federal level, this now also applies to European elections, for the first time in 2024. In order to lower the voting age for the House of Representatives, the constitution must be amended by a two-thirds majority.

Voting age from 16 already in five federal states

There have been discussions about this in the city for a number of years. After the 2021 election, there were signs of a majority in favor of amending the constitution, but the project, which was supported at the time by the SPD, the Greens, the Left Party and the FDP, did not come about. Following the repeat election in February of this year, the CDU has now joined in, and the project was included in the coalition agreement between the CDU and SPD. According to the association "Mehr Demokratie," the voting age of 16 for state parliaments already applies in 5 of the 16 German states, including Brandenburg. Berlin is expected to join them soon.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 4 August 2023
Last updated: 4 August 2023

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