New Zealand Supreme Court rules voting age of 18 years old is discriminatory

New  Zealand’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the voting age of 18 is discriminatory since citizens are considered adults in other areas at 16.

The decision that is likely to change laws for 16-year-olds to vote is supported by the nation’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The case

“The suit brought by Make It 16 argued more specifically that the 1990 Bill of Rights Act forbid ‘age discrimination’ against young people unless the age limits could be ‘justified.’ Since New Zealanders can legally drive, work full-time, and pay taxes at age 16, the group argued that limiting the vote to ages 18 and up was unjustified,” Breitbart News reported.

“The Supreme Court agreed on Monday and Ardern immediately announced her government would introduce legislation to lower the voting age,” it added.

What’s next?

“The issue must now be brought to parliament, after the court ruled that New Zealand’s minimum voting age of 18 was inconsistent with the country’s Bill of Rights – which gives people who are 16 years and over the right to be free from age discrimination,” BBC News reported.

“The ruling does not mean that the voting age will definitely be lowered,” it added.

The voting age bill would have to be passed by three-fourths of the legislature.

With some parties not supporting the change, it is uncertain whether it will pass for now.

The new ruling makes the case for the change, but it will take a legislative act to make the 16-year-old voting move official.