Should 16-year-olds be able to vote?

Pracilla Yamini, Staff Writer

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Since 1939, the voting age in most countries is 21 or higher. Then on July 1st, 1971, the Twenty-sixth Amendment was passed which lowered the voting age in the United States to 18 years old. Now, a new controversial topic comes up: should the voting age be lowered to sixteen years old?

Junior, Alexa Gibbs, disagrees with the idea of a lowered voting age. “I don’t believe that we have the political knowledge and maturity to make adequate decisions on how our country should be run,” says Gibbs. In a study done by ProCon.org, it shows that 43% of Americans don’t believe that sixteen and seventeen year olds should be given the right to vote. Many people don’t believe that it is appropriate for minors to be voting at such a young age, but others many argue that it may have many benefits.

Some people believe that if the voting age is lowered then there will be a higher voter turnout; but studies show that citizens between the ages of 18 to 29 have tremendously low voter turnout numbers. This suggests that younger individuals are not ready to vote until later on in life. “Most 16-year-olds have too much going on and are too easily influenced,” says junior, Ryan Phillips. The media puts out so much advertisement that it is very simple for young teens to make a decision without knowing all of the facts.

On top of it all, sixteen and seventeen year olds also have a lot on their plate, such as focusing on school and getting into college, and trying to make smart political decisions on how the our country should be run should not be another burden on them.

 

Photo via National Youth Rights Association https://www.youthrights.org/issues/voting-age/top-ten-reasons-to-lower-the-voting-age/