SIXTEEN and 17-year-olds could be given a voluntary right to vote in federal elections, under changes to be canvassed by the Rudd government later this year.
While the Liberal Party's newest recruit, Francesca Perrottet, 16, said the shift could inspire young people to get involved in politics and widen the pool of leadership talent, senior Liberals shunned the idea.
Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig said the government would raise the issue in its second electoral green paper later this year.
The move, which comes more than 35 years after the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18, will spark strong views from all sides of politics.
It follows fierce and ongoing debate over reforms to political donations and funding, which is part of the first stage of the government's electoral reform agenda.
"The Rudd government is committed to reforming and modernising Australia's electoral system," Senator Ludwig said....