Voting at 17 wins support

There is broad support in Parliament to give all of those who turn 18 years old during an election year the right to vote.

Swedish youth minister Lena Hallengren has said she understands those who think the minimum voting age of 18 years old is unfair, reports Svenska Dagbladet (SvD). She was born on Christmas day and was not allowed to vote when her classmates who had turned 18 did.

“You think you are just as old and have come just as far in development and maturity,” she said, according to SvD.

Hallengren said, “it is well worth thinking over” a law change.

“But this is a constitutional question, so even if I wanted to change it, it would take a long time,” she said.

A youth party committee recommended in 1997 to base voting on the birth year rather than on the birth day, but the government did not bring up the topic in the Parliament.

An SvD survey shows the idea has broad support. The Left Party, The Liberal Party, and The Centre Party have said they approve the change, while the Christian Democrats have supported the idea since their last congress.

The Green Party wants to lower the voting age to 16 years old.

Green Party leader Peter Eriksson said the change would be “a step in the right direction.”

The Moderates are sceptical. Its spokesman for constitutional questions, Henrik von Sydow, said that people should have reached the age of majority in order to vote, according to SvD.