Lowering the Voting Age
October 31, 2008
You’re 16 or 17—old enough to have a job and pay taxes. You care about issues like climate change, reproductive health care and education. And the outcome of the upcoming election will have an impact on your life for years to come. But as much as you’d like to vote, you can’t since the minimum voting age is 18. Bummer!
Do teens suddenly have the capacity to make responsible decisions on their 18th birthday? Nope. But think about the other big decisions 16- and 17-year-olds make and the responsibilities they have around their sexual health. Teens have to decide whether or not to have sex. And if they do choose to have sex, then they have to deal with the responsibility of getting tested, using birth control and communicating with their partners. We know that when teens are given honest and accurate information, they’ll make responsible choices about sex. So if we can trust teens with their sexual health, shouldn’t we be able to trust them to make responsible decisions in the voting booth?
Think the voting age should be lower? Here’s what the National Youth Rights Association has to say about that: