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OPINION AND ANALYSIS | 05-07-2024 16:31

La Libertad Avanza wants lower voting age in time for 2025 midterms

Idea is taking form in the Casa Rosada these days along with the political reform the government plans to launch in the second half of the year. Along with lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 13, the government is evaluating allowing children aged 14 or over to cast ballots in elections.

Just a few hours before Argentina’s lower house voted on Javier Milei’s ‘Ley de Bases’ reform bill and accompanying fiscal package, presidential advisor and communications guru Santiago Caputo was already taking their approval for granted and turning his attention to other ideas. The President’s most trusted spin doctor “is helping to think through” the libertarian administration on a day-to-day basis – while also looking ahead to 2025.

The same day as the vote on the two bills which cost the government six months of discussion, Caputo left his office in the Casa Rosada and went to a meeting with a low-cost airline. At it, he assured them that the conditions existed to invest in this country. 

On his way back, he continued to think beyond the ongoing parliamentary discussion and, knowing that a move to lower age of criminal responsibility would be announced the next day, he enthused over being able to move ahead with another project he had already been thinking about.

If a child of 14 (the government proposal for the age of criminal responsibility is 13) can be convicted for a crime because they are aware of what they are doing, how come youngsters of that age are unable to elect their authorities? Yes, Caputo wants to lower today’s voting age of 16 to 14. The advisor is well aware that this potential new electorate feels attracted by Milei.

If the government is to advance with its attempt to change Law of Argentine Citizenry No. 26.774 (known as the ‘Youth Vote Law’ and approved in October, 2012), the presidential spin-doctor knows that this debate should start this year. 

The law currently permits the votes of those aged 16 and 17. In the last election taking Milei to the Casa Rosada, this core represented three percent of the electorate. If the government gets its way, it could add a similar percentage.

For now the political reform which the government wants to introduce most this year has been the elimination of the PASO primaries, changes in the system of political financing and the amendment of the voting system to move to a single-paper ballot. But Caputo is going for more and will also propose lowering the voting age.
Milei repeats that the 2025 midterms will be a huge triumph of La Libertad Avanza. His chief political spin-doctor will do everything possible to achieve it.

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Rosario Ayerdi

Rosario Ayerdi

Jefa de Política. Mail: [email protected]

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