Sixteen-year-olds on the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency off the west coast of England, cast ballots on Thursday as some of the youngest voters in legislative elections anywhere. But many teens didn't bother.
Only about 600 of 1,800 newly eligible youngsters registered to voteafter the voting age was lowered from 18 to 16 earlier this year, London's Guardian newspaper reported.
Those who did were among about 50,000 people eligible to vote for members of the island parliament, the House of Keys, which governs a territory smaller than the city of Torontonestled between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Irish Sea.
There were 54 candidates for the chamber's 24 seats.
The island, whose residents arecalled Manx, has led the way in voting rights before. It nowhas Western Europe's lowest voting age, but elsewhere 16-year-oldsalready had the right to vote in countriessuch as as Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua and Serbia, the BBC reported.
The island claims to have been the first country in the world to give at least some women the right to vote.
In 1880, the House of Keys voted to give all adult women full voting rights, erasing the word "male" from an election law, but thatidea ran into opposition from London. Manx politicians were advised that the bill would never get royal assent.
In a compromise, theyextended voting rights to unmarried women and widows who owned property in 1881.