Voting: Should the Age be Lowered?

Should the voting age be lowered to 16? Take the poll!

Photo by Creative Commons

Should the voting age be lowered to 16? Take the poll!

With all the things going on in the world, many teenagers are sick and tired of adults making decisions that directly affect them. Our age group believes that the voting age should be lowered, especially while making laws on matters that directly impact us so we have the opportunity to decide what choices will steer our future- not just have it decided for us. We hold an especially passionate stance on this topic when it comes to subject matters such as what will happen in our community/state, gun control laws, etc… which has been a major one as of lately.

Those who agree with the point that youth voting should exist say that teenagers should be able to decide what is best for them when it comes to their futures, and saying they aren’t mature enough is a cheap excuse made by fear that youth will make decisions they may not agree with. But those who disagree with that point, and believe the voting laws should remain as they are now say that teenagers are just not mature enough to weigh in on these major decisions.

Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

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But the fact of it is that these adults will call teenagers ‘children’ but for example, in the state of New York they will allow someone as young as 14 be able to own rifle for ‘hunting purposes’. So we’re mature enough to own them, but not mature enough to make decisions that regard them? I spoke to a fellow student of mine, Hunter Stephens who’s in 11th grade.

Red & Black: What’s your stance on youth voting?

Hunter: I believe that we have grown up with topics normalized to us. So, in a way, we have matured quicker than past generations and have become desensitized to topics such as the violence the real world holds.

RB: Do you have anything else to add?

H: For adults to suddenly turn around and tell us we are now unable to handle the things they’ve exposed us to is unfair and contradicts everything we’ve grown up around.

Yet an interview with an adult who has requested to stay anonymous:

Red & Black: What is your stance on the topic at hand?

ANON: I see where the argument of youth voting comes from, but to allow youth voting to exist is to take our burdens and stress as adults and put it directly onto kids sooner than they deserve, and frankly, are ready for.

There are obviously strong opinions made by both sides, so what do you think? Should the youth, and future youth of the present day have the opportunity to vote at their age? But no matter what you may think or what side you may stand on, one undeniable truth is that change must occur in some form or another.