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Sark teens get the vote from 16

Sark teens get the vote from 16

Friday 18 November 2022

Sark teens get the vote from 16

Friday 18 November 2022

From today, 16 and 17 year olds living in Sark can vote - meaning the voting age across the Bailiwick is now 16 for everyone.

Guernsey was first to lower its voting age from 18 to 16 in 2007.

Alderney only introduced voting from the age of 16 this year. It was in fact one of King Charles III's first acts as Monarch making it somewhat of a landmark.

His Majesty acceded to the throne on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September. 

The Government of Alderney (Amendment) Law 2022 was registered in the Alderney Court in September, after receiving Royal Assent from the Privy Council during the week immediately after the death of Her Majesty. on 13 September. 


Pictured: King Charles III has given Royal Assent to new laws meaning 16 and 17 year olds can vote in Alderney and Sark.

His Majesty has also now, with His Privy Council, approved the same change in Sark.

It means that from today, once the law is enacted in the island, any 16 and 17 year olds who are resident in the island can register to vote. They will then be able to cast their votes at Sark's General Election due to be held next month.

The Seneschal, Victoria Stamps said "anyone can join the electoral roll whenever the Greffe is open, this is 14:30-16:00 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday."

She added that if any teenagers wished to register immediately after the law is enacted today then they may be able to if the Greffier is still at the court. 

Chief Pleas Sark

Pictured: Sark's court is at Chief Pleas.

The Chief Secretary to Chief Pleas previewed the voting age change with the following statement: 

"On the 18 November 2022, the Seneschals Court will register a change to the Sark Reform Law which will enable residents to be entered on the electoral register at the age of 16 and vote in elections.

This change also allows residents aged 18 years and over who have completed 24 consecutive months residency (after the age of 13) to be entered on the electoral register as soon as they return to Sark and therefore to stand for election as a Conseiller. 

Previously any returning or new residents was required to complete 24 consecutive months residency immediately preceding their eligibility to be entered on the electoral register. 

This change will enable more residents to vote and, crucially, stand as Conseillers at a time when Chief Pleas needs to maintain the Island's autonomy and continued democracy."

sark chief pleas

Pictured: Chief Pleas in Sark.

While parish elections were held in Guernsey recently, the next island wide vote isn't due to be held until 2025.

In Alderney, anyone who is on the electoral roll over the age of 16 could have voted in the island's election for five States Members next weekend. As only four candidates were nominated they were duly elected without a vote.

A Plebiscite election is being held on 10 December to elect the two Alderney States Members who will serve on the States of Guernsey for the next two years. The current post holders, Alex Snowdon and Steve Roberts can be nominated again along with other candidates, from yesterday.

Sark's General Election is scheduled for 14 December.

Nine Conseiller seats will be up for election, with a date set aside in January if there needs to be a new vote if the number cast is tied.

The electoral roll will close to all residents on 25 November, meaning anyone aged 16 or over and living in Sark can sign on to the electoral roll before then.

The nomination period is 28 November until midday on 2 December.


16 year olds get right to vote


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