“We keep telling youth we want them involved in our city and government, and yet the message we send by denying them the right to vote is that their voice doesn’t matter.”- Hyattsville Councilman Patrick Paschall. In this day and age the right of a U.S. citizen is to vote at eighteen years old no matter their race, color or religion. As time changes, it is seen that a higher amount of younger aged citizens in the United States are more involved in today’s politics. Becoming more involved in politics makes them want to make a change in their society, but in many cases it is not possible because they are not over eighteen. Lowering the voting age to sixteen years old can let the younger population of citizens make a change on how the voting laws affect them and it also encourages them to consistently vote by starting at a young age.
Adolescents younger than eighteen do not get a say into any political decisions, but as the are more aware of today’s politics, they have a opinion. The member of Strathfield, Jodi McKay, from the article “Lowering the Voting Age to 16 Would Be Good for Democracy” argued that “the fact that these young people are unable to have an immediate say on the future of education, on TAFE, on the environment, on health services and public transport, I believe does us a disservice”. Livia Gershon, the author of the article, “The Case for Lowering the Voting Age” agrees by saying, “Students have travelled across the country, providing information to their peers and organizing voter registration drives. And yet, until they turn 18, these engaged citizens can’t cast their own ballots”. Since these adolescents do not have any input on laws that they are directly affected by, action are made by these young adults. Recalling back to the Parkland Shooting, a devastating attack on a high school. Resulting seventeen deaths and an unforgettable trauma to these high schoolers. Movements were made by students, by these gun violence affected areas, but unfortunately these high schoolers could only raise awareness instead of casting a vote until the age of eighteen. Which is why it is vital in these situations to lower the voting age in order to let these young adults have a say in what they believe in.
Lowering the voting age can encourage these young citizens to continuously vote by letting them vote at a young age. According to Jens Olav Dahlgaard, the author of the article “The Surprising Consequence of Lowering the Voting Age’’ stated, “Advocates argue that lowering the turnout age will boost political participation, both immediately and lifelong.” It makes sense of starting a habit from an early age to continue this habit along the years. In this case, it is important that this habit continues because voting does make a huge difference. Others may think the voting age should not be lowered to sixteen because adolescents prioritize their own occupations. George Williams claims that, “It is difficult to get 18-year-olds to enrol and vote, in part because this can be a time of great upheaval in their lives. Many are moving from school to university or into employment, often out of home, and are forming new relationships. Joining the electoral roll can be low on their list of priorities.” This can be true; however, there has been countless occasions in the past that have encouraged these adolescents to vote but they can’t vote until one or even two years later. These occasions have been from wanting to have more security on gun control to changing school hours. Laws that completely effect these adolescents. The voting age should be lowered to let the younger generation of citizens have a say in today’s politics; therefore, it can become a habit and they can keep voting forever.
Lowering the voting age to sixteen can allow the younger generation of citizens in the United States have a voice with the power of being able to vote. Not just only to have a say in the politics, but to have the power of making a difference in society. From a young age this can become an important habit throughout their lives. An important privilege to share because voting can make changes but can also help save people by using the capability to vote for stricter laws that can benefit people all around the U.S. Ultimately, who wouldn’t want to have a say in today’s time political decisions? To conclude, the voting age should be lowered to sixteen because powerful decisions can happen. And with each new step young citizens can make in the direction of fairness, justice, equality, and opportunity, hope spreads for everyone in this country.
Dahlgaard, Jens O. “The Surprising Consequence of Lowering the Voting Age.” Washington Post
Blogs, 01 Mar. 2018. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.
Gershon, Livia. “The Case for Lowering the Voting Age.” Daily, 17 Oct. 2018. JSTOR,
Williams, George. “Lowering the Voting Age to 16 would be Good for Democracy.” Sydney
Morning Herald, 01 Jun. 2015, pp. 17. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.