MK Levy-Abecasis proposes lowering voting age to 17

Seventeen-year-olds can currently vote in municipal elections and their votes are worth approximately four Knesset seats.

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May 27, 2014 16:45
An IDF soldier votes early in Ashdod, January 20, 2013.

An IDF soldier votes in Ashdod 370. (photo credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen)

 
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The Knesset Committee for Child Welfare plans to promote a bill lowering the voting age in general elections to 17.

Child Welfare Committee chairwoman Orly Levy-Abecasis (Yisrael Beytenu) announced at a meeting with the National Student and Youth Council Tuesday that she would propose the change.

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Seventeen-year-olds can currently vote in municipal elections and their votes are worth approximately four Knesset seats.

According to National Student and Youth Council chairwoman Gal Yosef, "if we can get a driver's license, enlist in elite units in the army, testify in court and open a bank account, we should be able to choose our next leader at age 17."

MK Ya'acov Margi (Shas) said that "the only thing preventing [17-year-olds from voting] are irrelevant and political claims, such as that giving youth the right to vote will help one population group or another."

Levy-Abecasis pointed out that at age 17 people can join political parties, but can't vote for them in the Knesset.

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