What Should be the Legal Voting Age?

Image+from%3A+Wikimedia+Commons

Image from: Wikimedia Commons

The legal voting age has been debated by many people. Some say that it should remain eighteen, however, more people support the idea of making the legal voting age 16-17 than you think.

Lowering the voting age can result in more citizens becoming more “in touch” with society and their government. A research study shows that a person who votes for the first time is likely to continuously vote. This shows that, when the time comes to vote, not only a specific age group represents the country but, all ages do. Clearly, establishing voting habits at sixteen-seventeen is more beneficial than at the age of eighteen.

Teenagers who are under the age of 18 are also contributing many things to their society. They are given responsibilities -such as making financial contributions to their households and running a business. 16-17-year-olds are also capable of incredible accomplishments and intelligence. They’re qualified to win the Nobel Prize, becoming a well-known author, and many more! This variety of feats show that, if they can do such astonishing achievements, surely 16-17 should be able to represent their interests.

In every state, there is a possibility that a criminal case can be transferred to an adult criminal court instead of a juvenile court. However, in a select amount of states, crimes committed by 16-17-year-olds are immediately transferred. This is showing that society is seeming to expect mere sixteen-year-olds to be able to comprehend the adult legal system and are old enough to be placed in an adult prison. It is hypocritical to say that they are responsible adults when committing a crime, but naive ‘minors’ when they would like to vote. It is also unfair to those that strongly support this movement and supposedly are ‘too young’.

Although they are excluded from most of the political process, 16-17-year-olds are still making their interests heard. They have made successful campaigns for mayors and/or state legislatures before they’re even old enough to vote! Younger people could also contribute as much money as an adult could. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that banning minors from this part of the political process is actually violating their First Amendment rights. However, sixteen-year-olds are still taking opportunities to express their opinions. Is it wrong to be more involved in the political process that politicians have denied us the ‘right’ to?

According to some events, 16-17-year-olds make good voters. In Maryland, they lowered its voting age to 16, and the registered voters under 18 became four times higher than voters over the age of 18. This has also occurred to countries other than those of the U.S. Those in Norway that were aged from 16-17 had a higher rate of voter turnout than older voters. A group of researchers initiated a research project that would show if lowering the voting age would have any effect on the quality of democratic decision making. The researchers found that not only did it not have any negative impact on it, but, in fact, it had a positive effect, ever so slightly.

Evidently, lowering the voting age to a reasonable age such as sixteen or seventeen would be very effective in many areas. 

 

Sources:

http://vote16usa.org/reasons-for-lowing-voting-age-16/

https://www.youthrights.org/issues/voting-age/top-ten-reasons-to-lower-the-v