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Argentina Law Lowers Voting Age to 16

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 1, 2012 Last Updated: November 2, 2012
Related articles: World » South America
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Argentinian youth attend a session of the Chamber of Deputies during the debate for a law that would authorize 16 and 17 year-olds to vote, in Buenos Aires on Oct. 31, 2012. (Hugo Villalobos/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentinian youth attend a session of the Chamber of Deputies during the debate for a law that would authorize 16 and 17 year-olds to vote, in Buenos Aires on Oct. 31, 2012. (Hugo Villalobos/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentina passed a new law that will allow voters as young as 16 to vote.

President Cristina Fernández and supporters of the law say that it will increase voter participation, but critics have accused Fernandez of gaming the system because she relies heavily on the youth vote, according to the BBC.

Voting is required for people between the ages of 18 and 70, and is now optional for people as young as 16.

“It is a very important initiative because it expands the frontier of rights,” Agustin Rossi, head of the Chamber of Deputies, told the broadcaster.

Brazil and Ecuador have already allowed voters as young as 16 to vote in elections.

With the passage of the law, there are now more than a million new people who can take part in the election.

Rep. Eduardo Amadeo of the Peronist Front party told CNN that the law will not change much.

“If you ask me what is the worst social problem in Argentina, it is the youth. Education is worse. The consumption of drugs is worse. Employment is worse,” he said, “and now the government has discovered them and they say, we are going to vote.”

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