Talks begin to lower voting age to 16

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Talks begin to lower voting age to 16

Kaden Smart, Section Editor

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Talks about lowering the voting age to 16 have been happening for the past few decades. These talks usually don’t go too far, but in the past few days the issue was brought up again, and it has a popular ally, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

 

In the 1960s, there was a large push to lower voting age from 21 to 18 due to the Vietnam war. The argument was about drafting 18 year olds to war while they still couldn’t vote. In 1971 the 26th amendment was put in place that made the legal voting age 18.

 

Nancy Pelosi stated on March 14th that she has “always been for lowering the voting age to 16.” She says it’s “really important to capture kids when they’re in High School”.

 

There are arguments on both sides on this topic. The majority of supporters tend to be young people themselves, most of whom have strong opinions on topics such as gun control and abortion. These tend to be the most divisive issues in our country’s political climate.

 

The biggest argument against lowering the voting age is how mature 16 year olds are. Ian Ferguson is a senior at RHS, and he says, “Young people aren’t educated enough to make informed decisions, and they typically vote for less regulation on inappropriate materials such as weed and alcohol, so I think absolutely not.”

 

It has been shown by the Pew Research Center that the younger generations are the ones that support legalising marijuana.

 

The other side says that there will be higher voter turnout if 16 year olds can vote. They also bring up that other countries have 16 year olds vote such as the UK, Germany, and Brazil. They also state that it will make them more likely to cast their first vote. They hope that this will raise voter turnout in the future.

 

While this has been a topic on capitol hill for a while, there is no sign that this will pass on the federal level anytime soon. There are too many people that are against it, stating that 16 year olds aren’t mature enough to vote effectively. This might be something we will see in the distant future, but so far it is not getting any momentum.