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18歳選挙権 参院選の投票機会を広げたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Expand voting opportunities for youths in upper house election this summer
18歳選挙権 参院選の投票機会を広げたい

The central and local governments, as well as political parties, must cooperate to create an environment in which young people who become newly eligible voters can use that right properly.
 新たに有権者に加わる若者が適正に選挙権を行使する。政府や自治体、政党が連携し、その環境整備を図りたい。

A lawmaker-initiated bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law was approved unanimously at a special committee of the House of Councillors. The bill is designed to eliminate cases in which young people who are expected to change their residence this spring cannot vote in the House of Councillors election slated for this summer. The committee’s approval makes it certain that the bill will be passed into law shortly.
 今春転居する予定の若者が夏の参院選で投票できない事態を解消する議員立法の公職選挙法改正案が、参院の特別委員会で全会一致で可決された。近く成立することが確実になった。

Under the current law, only eligible voters who have lived at their present residence for more than three months are listed on the voting register of municipal governments — villages, towns, wards or cities — and are able to cast ballots.
 現行法では、現住所で3か月以上居住している有権者でなければ、その市区町村の選挙人名簿に登録されず、投票できない。

Should the upper house election be officially announced on June 23, with voting to be held and the ballots counted on July 10, that would prevent from voting young people aged 18 or 19 who may change residences in order to enter the next stage of education or start working on March 23 or later.
 仮に参院選の日程が「6月23日公示―7月10日投開票」の場合、18~19歳の若者は、進学や就職などで3月23日以降に転居すると、投票が一切できなくなる。

This would have affected about 70,000 of the about 2.4 million youths who are expected to become newly eligible voters. With the legal revision, they will be able to cast their votes in the municipality where they lived before their move.
 新たな有権者約240万人のうち約7万人に影響する恐れがあったという。法改正により、転居前の自治体で投票が可能になる。

The lowering of the minimum voting age to 18 will encourage the young generation to participate in the political process, and may be an important turning point in expanding the base for democracy. Settling the legal deficiency and securing their opportunity to vote are appropriate measures.
 選挙権年齢の「18歳以上」への引き下げは、若い世代の政治参加を促し、民主主義の裾野を広げる重要な契機となり得る。法律の不備を解消し、投票機会を確保するのは、適切な措置である。

The election administration commission of each municipality must expedite such efforts as making systems modifications to voter registration to ensure smooth implementation.
 各選挙管理委員会は、選挙人名簿のシステム改修などを急ぎ、円滑な執行に努めねばならない。

More voting venues

The central government plans to submit a bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law, designed to enhance voters’ convenience, and have it passed into law.
 政府も今国会に、投票の利便性を高める公選法改正案を提出し、成立を図る方針だ。

Presently, voting on election day is limited to one polling place designated for each voter. With the government-initiated revision, voters will also be able to submit their ballots at a “common voting place,” to be newly set up at such venues as commercial facilities and stations. Voting hours will also be extended on days prior to the election day.
 今は、投票日の投票は指定の投票所1か所に限られるが、商業施設や駅などに新設する「共通投票所」も利用可能にする。期日前投票の投票時間も拡大する。

The revision is also intended to expand the range of minors allowed to accompany a voter into a polling station from infants, as stipulated in the present law, to people under 18. This is expected to help future voters feel familiar with casting ballots.
 有権者が投票所に同伴できる対象も「幼児」から「18歳未満」に広げるという。将来の有権者に、投票を身近に感じてもらう効果が期待できよう。

We hope the central and local governments will proactively work on building an environment in which voters are able to cast their votes with ease, while adopting all possible measures to prevent such dishonest acts as double voting and avoid errors.
 政府や自治体は、二重投票など不正やミスの防止に万全を期しつつ、投票しやすい環境作りに前向きに取り組んでもらいたい。

The turnout rate in various elections has been declining over many years, and the low interest in politics among young people is also a cause for concern. It is necessary to proactively enlighten young people about the importance of elections, which are the basis of democracy.
 各種選挙の投票率は長年、低下傾向にある。若い世代の政治への関心の薄さも懸念される。民主主義の根幹である選挙の重要性の積極的な啓発が求められる。

With an eye on the upper house election, political parties are throwing their energy into holding discussion meetings to be attended by legislators and students, and into transmitting information. We hope the parties utilize their exchanges with young people in their policy making.
 各党は、参院選に向け、議員と学生による討論会や情報発信などに力を入れている。若者との交流を政策立案に生かしてほしい。

Schools have already started such activities as inviting people including officials from local election administration commissions to help students learn about the Public Offices Election Law and the voting process and hold mock elections with fictitious candidates. With cooperation from such entities as local assemblies, opportunities should also be increased for students to talk with assembly members.
 教育現場では、選管職員らを招いて、公選法や投票方法の学習、架空の候補者を設定した模擬選挙などが始まっている。地方議会などの協力を得て、議員との対話の機会なども増やすべきだろう。

It is important to promote more pragmatic learning aimed at enhancing young people’s awareness as voters, while securing political impartiality.
 政治的中立性を担保しながら、より実践的な主権者教育を進めることが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 28, 2016)
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by kiyoshimat | 2016-01-29 11:56 | 英字新聞

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