According to Sofie Whitney, a victim of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, “If 16-year-old students are old enough to be affected by the laws, and realize that there is a problem, then they should have the power to help change it.” A lot is expected from adolescents. They are required to go to school on a regular basis, encouraged to get a job, learn to drive and deal with the consequences that are left from older generation’s decisions, yet are not able to take any part in decision making for themselves. Currently the age to vote, in California, is 18 but in other states the age has been lowered to 16. The voting age should be lowered to 16, nationwide, because it is important for adolescents to vote now and allowing them to vote would increase the voter turnout.
One reason why the voting age should be lowered to 16 is because it is important for them to vote now at the age of 16 instead of in two years. At the age of 16 adolescents are faced with important issues that directly affect them such as gun control, substance abuse, gang activity etc. Recently the United States has been experiencing an extreme amount of gun violence, especially at schools. The debate of gun control has been addressed but nothing has been resolved for students. If no one is going to make their situation better they should have the power to do it themselves; they have a voice, let them use it. According to, “Lowering the Voting Age – Top 3 Pros and Cons,” “Students today live under threats to their futures such as school shootings and climate change, and they deserve to have influence…” This elaborates on the example of the issue of school shootings as well as other examples. Adolescents need to have power to make a change in issues regarding their own life at the age of 16; they have a voice let them use it. The voting age should be lowered to 16 because 16-year-olds need the power to vote sooner rather than later.
Another reason why the voting age should be lowered to 16 is because it would increase the voter turnout. According to, Laurence Steinberg in an article published in the New York Times, “Lower the Voting Age to 16”, “…voter turnout among 16- and 17-year-olds is significantly higher than it is among older young adults.” Jens Olav Dahlgaard, writer of Washington Post article, “The Surprising Consequence of Lowering the Voter Age,” agrees and adds, “If the voting age was 16 or 17, more children would still live with their parents in their first election — and both groups would be a bit more likely to vote.” These sources demonstrate that lowering the voting age increases the turnout because 16-year-olds are more likely to vote than 18-year-olds and when they go to vote it encourages parents to go as well. When first time voters live with their parents their parents are more likely to also vote. Having a larger voter turnout is better for democracy. Lowering the voter age to 16 would increase the voter turnout.
Some people that are opposed to lowering the voting age claim that 16-year-olds are too immature to be involved in something as important as an election.
Dahlgaard, Jens O. “The Surprising Consequence of Lowering the Voting Age.” Washington Post
-Blogs, 01 Mar. 2018. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.
“Lowering the Voting Age – Top 3 Pros and Cons.” ProConorg Headlines,
Steinberg, Laurence. “Lower the Voting Age to 16.” New York Times, 04 Mar. 2018. SIRS Issues
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.