Lowering the voting age

The debate of lowering the voting age has been going on for a while now, and there are a few pros and cons. The age of voting is 18 right now, but some people are arguing that it should be lowered to 16. There are 19 states that let 17-year-olds vote as long as they are 18 by Election Day: Connecticut, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Ohio,
Oregon, Virginia, Vermont, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Washington.

Here are some of the Pros to lowering the voting age:

  • More people might turn up to vote. Only about 50% of people go to the polls to vote during elections, and letting 16-year-olds vote might get them in the habit to keep voting through their lifetime.
  • More voices mean more ideas and different contributions to public discussions.
  • A lot of 16-year-olds have jobs, can drive, and pay taxes, so they should get to help decide how our country is run and what their taxes go to.

Here are some of the Cons to lowering the voting age:

  • Some worry that teenagers’ opinions are easily swayed and could be heavily influenced by their family, their friends, and people they look up to.
  • Others think that teens take things that they see and hear as truth without doing some fact checking.
  • Teens need more time to see what policies are important to them, and learn about what their political ideology is.

Personally, I think that the voting age should be lowered because the arguments that teens can’t think for themselves and that they aren’t mature enough to vote doesn’t make sense to me. They trust 16-year-olds to drive cars, but cars can do way more damage than an irresponsible voter. More pros come from lowering the voting age and more kids could get involved in politics. By the age of 16, teens can measure pros against cons and make well thought out decisions.

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