Voting for 16 and 17-year-old youths will be extended so that they will be able to vote not only in local council elections but also in the European Parliament election and even in the next general election. This was announced by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during a meeting with post-secondary students of Giovanni Curmi School in Naxxar. During the meeting, youths expressed their ideas on the right to vote, with some calling for more preparation before this right is introduced.
Elections for members of the European Parliament that will be held in 2019 will not only be the first time in Malta that voting will be counted electronically, but also it will be the first time that youths, aged 16 and 17, will be able to vote not only in local council elections.
Addressing students at the Naxxar school, Prime Minister Muscat said that “there is a popular mandate for the vote at 16; a decision will be discussed shortly in the Cabinet, in which we will formalize that from the European Parliament election the voting right will go down to 16, and even for the next general election”.
Dr Muscat said that with this reform, Malta will be the second country, after Austria, which will give this right to 16-year old youths.
During their interventions, the majority of students said they wish they will be well prepared before this right is introduced, with some of them even proposing courses in their academic process so they will learn more on the country’s political aspects.
With the introduction of this right, the electoral registry is expected to increase by another eight thousand new voters.