The Italian Senate has approved lowering the voting age in senate elections from 25 to 18, paving the way for four million young people to take part.
Italians aged 18 or above can already cast ballots in national elections for the lower house of Italy’s parliament, the Chamber of Deputies.
If enough lawmakers in each chamber request it in the next three months, a nationwide constitutional referendum could be held to confirm the new voting age for the upper legislative chamber.
Federico D’Inca, the government minister for parliamentary relations and a member of Italy’s populist 5-Star Movement, said lowering the voting age for the Senate “favours the participation of the new generations in political life.”
The 5-Star Movement currently holds the most seats in the Italian legislature and is a partner in Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s wide-ranging coalition government. Italy’s next election is scheduled for 2023.