Should We Lower the Voting Age to 16?
Do you support lowering the voting age to 16?
Update - March 7, 2019:
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley's (D-MA) proposed amendment to lower the voting age from 18 years old to 16 will not be included in the expansive H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
- The amendment failed 126-305. Democrats supported it 125-108 with 2 voting "present." Only 1 GOP rep voted "YEA".
What’s the story?
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is proposing lowering the voting age from 18 years old to 16 in an amendment introduced to H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
- “Across this nation, young people are leading the way – from gun violence, to climate change, to the future of work – they are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action,” Pressley said in a statement.
What are both sides saying?
- “These youth, our young people who will inherit the nature we design here by virtue of our policies or by default of our policies and authorities — these very same young people should have a say in who represents them,” Pressley said. “Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”
- The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1971 during the Vietnam War, lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Pressley compared the current political milieu to that of 1971 America.
“Young people are the forefront at some of our most existential crises. The time has come. Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”
- Critics have said lowering the voting age is a “terrible idea.”
- “It’s simply wrong,” Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, told the Boston Herald. “Almost all 16-year-olds I know I don’t believe should have the privilege or the authority to vote. They simply haven’t matured to the level that they can make those types of decisions.”
- Another Massachusetts Republican, Gov. Charlie Baker, also blasted the proposal:
“I did raise three teenagers and based on that, I’d be pretty dubious about lowering it to 16.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he believed lowering the voting age would take another constitutional amendment.
What do you think?
Do you support lowering the voting age to 16? Or is it “simply wrong”? Should we actually raise the age required to vote? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / adamkaz)
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