Lower Voting Age Will Not Change Results, Says Academic ({{commentsTotal}})

Anu Toots
Anu Toots Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A bill to lower the voting age to 16 at local elections, which is currently under debate in Parliament, would have little affect on election results, says Tallinn University political science professor Anu Toots.

“If any party is dreaming of a far larger vote catch, then I remain skeptical,” she told ETV, adding that it will require a change to the Estonian constitution, but won't affect election laws.

Reet Sillavee, head of the Estonian National Youth Council, said 16-year olds have far better opportunities to find information on candidates compared to 20 years ago.

Tanel Veenre, a lecturer at the Academy of Arts, said politics would become more interesting. “We have space for a pop-star politician, who would be capable of connecting with the youth, using those channels which younger people value,” he said.

EMOR analysis Aivar Voog said the move would balance the voting age, as currently the 50-plus age group segment already account for more than 50 percent of all voters.

Toots said younger people do not have strong political alliances, which could prove to be an asset as they will reevaluate the situation before each elections and could vote for different parties.