Lowering voting age to 16

Dec 2015
16,572
15,446
Arizona
#41
Maybe I missed a previous thread on this subject, but if not...what do you think? I was surprised at how many articles have been posted on this subject. It seems there's quite a lot of support for this idea. So let's go.

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is trying to change that. Last week she introduced an amendment to a voting rights bill to lower the voting age from 18 to 16. "From gun violence to climate change, our young people are organizing, mobilizing and calling us to action," she argued. "They are at the forefront of social and legislative movements and have earned inclusion in our democracy."
Democrats narrowly supported the measure, but Republicans voted against it en masse, and it was defeated. That was a mistake. Young people need and deserve the right to vote -- and the country would be stronger if they had it.

The argument for allowing young people to vote is the same as the argument for allowing anyone to vote. The United States was founded on the central insight that if you have no voice in your government, you will be mistreated. Disenfranchisement is the first step towards injustice. The vote is essential for liberty and equality in a democracy. That's why the colonists rebelled against Britain. It's why women, black people, and other marginalized groups have fought to be included in the franchise since America was founded.

Young people are affected by government policy decisions on gun control, on schooling, on climate change. As Pressley says, they often organize and advocate around these issues. Last month, for example, a number of school kids confronted California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, asking her to back the Green New Deal.

Politicians are responsible to voters. Young people can't vote, so it's not surprising that a politician like Feinstein wouldn't feel responsible to them. Yet, as the kids say, they are going to be the ones who primarily have to live with climate change. Their futures will be warmer and bleaker because they are excluded from the polity. That's unjust.

If you have raised children/teens, worked with teens or taught teens, what do you think? Are 16 yr olds mature enough to vote? Would they participate or would they blow it off?
Would they vote the same as their parents? Would they swing an election? There are lots of questions.
Dig in.

p.s. So surprising that the GOP voted against it en masse, right? I mean...don't they always support change? Giggle.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/09/opinions/let-teens-vote-ayanna-pressley-berlatsky/index.html

Oops. I guess one of the mods combined the threads. Sorry.
 
Dec 2015
16,572
15,446
Arizona
#42
Some are very aware and knowledgeable. Some are too into their smartphones and the mall.

But is your average 35 year old on average any better or any worse. I don't think so.

Way back when I was in grade six, we had, as part of our social studies course, a unit on media and how to recognize bullshit vs fact. My kids never got that type of instruction. My grandkids have.

So I might argue that if that is widespread, the 16 yo might be better, on average than the 35 yo. Plus they haven't suffered hardening of the cerebral arteries yet.

So the answer to your question, IMO is yes.

According to some research there's not much difference between in maturity between 16 yr olds and 17-18 yr olds. Some states did allow 17 yr olds to vote last year if they turn 18 by Nov. primary election.
 
Sep 2017
2,281
1,152
Hell
#43
You can join the military at age 17 and 4 months of age with a parents consent.

So I would be ok with voting at that age also.
In some states one can marry at 14 with parental consent. They can't drive a car, but they can procreate. Maybe they should be OK to vote too?

I think that the consensus is that 18 is adulthood and we should keep the voting age to that as the age limit. I believe that even a driver's license for someone under 18 is provisional and have limitations. If one can't be trusted to drive after a certain time of the night because they might make a bad decision due to age, how are they qualified to make a good voting choice?
 
Likes: Sabcat
Apr 2014
3,170
1,364
redacted
#44
According to some research there's not much difference between in maturity between 16 yr olds and 17-18 yr olds. Some states did allow 17 yr olds to vote last year if they turn 18 by Nov. primary election.
So why not let them emancipate themselves at 16? Drink, smoke and join the military?
 
Dec 2015
16,572
15,446
Arizona
#48
So why not let them emancipate themselves at 16? Drink, smoke and join the military?
Are drinking, smoking and the military on the same level as voting? Besides, we all know that 16 yr olds smoke, drink and some have lied about their age to get into the military.
Look, I have not thrown my support behind this idea....yet....and I may not. There are many 16 yr olds who are mature and responsible. I think they would be good voters but the other half?? Not so sure. They would probably just NOT VOTE.
 
Apr 2014
3,170
1,364
redacted
#50
Are drinking, smoking and the military on the same level as voting? Besides, we all know that 16 yr olds smoke, drink and some have lied about their age to get into the military.
Look, I have not thrown my support behind this idea....yet....and I may not. There are many 16 yr olds who are mature and responsible. I think they would be good voters but the other half?? Not so sure. They would probably just NOT VOTE.
Since they are all considered adult decisions, yes they are on the same level.

FWIW, if it were up to me, I'd raise the age to 21. Even 25. Alternatively we could have a series of knowledge and skill tests coupled with psych exams to certify adulthood and legality to exercise all of those options regardless of age.