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   Vote at 16: Austria gets them while they're young
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ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Sep 25, 2008 05:12pm
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MediaWebsite - Yahoo News
News DateThursday, September 25, 2008 11:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionNina Stanke is too young to drive, but for her 16th birthday, she's getting the right to vote.

At a time when Barack Obama's presidential bid is energizing America's young voters and an expert in Britain is saying even children should be enfranchised, Austria has become the first European Union country to lower the voting age in national elections to 16.

Driving the change is demographics: As the birthrate falls, seniors are beginning to dominate the electorate. A law lowering the age limit from 18 passed in 2007, and Sunday's parliamentary election will be young teens' first opportunity to vote nationwide.

A few other nations allow voting at 16, including Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua as well as the Isle of Man and Jersey, offshore British dependencies. Sixteen-year-olds in Austria as well as neighboring Germany already have been able to vote in some local elections.

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