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Active Citizenship & Participation

We focus on a wide range of issue in relation to young people and active citizenship and participation. For 2010 we are concentrating on one issue:

*Get the voting age reduced to 16 in all Irish elections

What we want to achieve

The voting age to be lowered to 16 in all elections and the creation of an Independent Electoral Commission to address registration issues and promote participation by young people.


We believe that young people should have a say in decisions and actions which affect them. We need to build a society that values young people as active contributors to our society now, as well as nurturing their ability in playing a positive role throughout their lives.

Vote at sixteen

Lowering the voting age to sixteen would encourage young people to become engaged in the democratic process and in civic life.

Electoral Commission

Of particular importance is the recommendation by the Taskforce on Active Citizenship is the establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission. This Commission would take over responsibility for running elections, reform the registration system and would seek to increase the participation of young people in the electoral system.


  • Legislation to allow young people aged 16 and 17 to vote in local and European elections as a first step towards the right to vote in all elections and referenda.
  • Establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission to reform the registration system to promote participation in the electoral system.


NYCI launched its Vote at 16 Campaign “A New Age in Voting” in January 2009. In the Programme for Government published in October 2009, there is a commitment to establish an Independent Electoral Commission which is tasked with among other issues examining the proposal to extend voting rights to young people aged 16 and 17 years. We will continue to lobby for this to happen.

What can I do? Join our campaign on Facebook

As an organisation: Lobby Government!

As an individual: Support NYCI by engaging in debate with your local TD on the importance of these issues.


Vote at 16