Should The Voting Age Be Lowered To 16?

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*Varied opinions are represented in this article, as well as, respected*

 

Lower Voting Age? Yes Please!

By Marissa Bennett

It doesn’t take America’s brightest to know that the country hasn’t been the most peaceful as of late. There’s quite a lot of talk about border issues, religion, sexuality, and the environment. There is actual talk that if something isn’t done soon, we could only have a few decades before humans damage the earth beyond repair.

In all the chaos, the young pupils who have to watch the climate slowly go downhill, are stuck without any power to do anything, while a little more than half of adults are actually voting. Most of  these issues directly affects our wellbeing.

The current voting age in the US is 18. The proposal that I am making today is that the voting age should be lowered to 16. Why? Most of the issues with voting now is the lack of time to vote and lack of knowledge.

According to Youth Service America (YSA), many students don’t vote because they feel like they don’t know enough to vote, or they don’t know enough about the candidates. This is a bad habit that leads to such a small percentage of citizens voting at all.

If the voting age was lowered while students are still in school, and still in their home, a voter would be surrounded by adults who they could discuss questions with. Even if a child doesn’t have a biological parent who they can confide in, A survey performed by Gallup Youth Survey stated, “78% of teens said that there is another adult (not including mom or dad) in whom they can completely trust and confide.” Along with being there to help with that extra bit of homework you have and that girl who saw in the hall that one time, voting, and how to vote, would be another essential use of adults in a young person’s life. This can lead to more American citizens voting, and therefore a larger voting turnout.

You may be asking, ‘Why 16?” Well, many privileges are given to pupils of that age. One of the most importance is the ability to drive a car. And many students start working at the age of 16. With all that responsibility comes one of the major factors of voting and adult life: Taxes. A crucial question that needs to be asked when considering the voting age is, “Why should someone be able to drive, have a job, and pay taxes, but not be able to vote?” The American Revolution was caused because citizens felt like they didn’t have enough choice in their government. Now I’m not saying that 16-year-olds are going to rise up against the government, but is important to make people feel heard.

For these reasons, I can safely say that the voting age should be lowered to 16 due to the fact that teenagers often don’t feel like they have a lot of power in the’ real world and that the real world should be discussed more freely, because kids are the future.

 

Lower Voting Age- NO

By Christa Pierik

Recently there has been a debate about whether the voting age should be lowered to 16. Some people think that this is a good idea because it would give the younger demographic a voice on government policies and decisions. But, as someone who is currently 17, I I believe that the majority of us aren’t ready to be given this responsibility.

Voting is a huge responsibility because it has the ability to determine the path of our country in terms of office and government policies. The average 16-year-old today doesn’t even take advantage of the one right they already have; getting a license. According to online research there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of youth getting their license when they turn 16, . with just 24.5% of 16-year-olds in 2014 who actually got a license, compared to 46.2% in 1983; a 47% decrease. So, if 16-year-olds don’t feel like they are ready to take on the responsibility of driving, would they be ready to hold themselves up to the responsibility that is voting? Even if teens did care and were responsible enough to decide to vote, turning in the ballot could be a challenge. Without a license teens are dependent on less dependable or much slower modes of transportation such as: Biking, walking, Trimet, or even getting rides from their guardians or friends. By not having dependable transportation it makes it a lot harder for teens to even turn in their ballots.

Not only that, but also consider what changing the voting age would mean for other government policies. Many other age-related laws and policies could get changed as well. For example, the eligibility for jury duty might also be lowered from 18 to 16 if the voting age was changed. If 16-year-olds were required to be called in for jury duty they would most likely have to miss school, sometimes for an entire week. Missing that much school for someone at that young of an age can cause a student to get behind in classes causing there grades to drop and hindering their chances of future success.

Lastly, youth should be able to use their teenage years as a time to discover who they are and who they want to be. The 17 years we are allowed to be young without the responsibilities of adult life is very small compared the 80 or so years we are predicted to live. Let’s not rush it. I’m not saying that youth shouldn’t care about politics. In fact, I’m saying the complete opposite We should take the time no matter our age to learn about what we believe in and value in this world. If we do this then we would be solving the real issue at hand: Low voter turnout. If we take the time to learn to care, then when the time comes around for us to vote, we will be ready.

Source:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/the-decline-of-the-drivers-license/425169/

 

MOS

By Aaron Valentine

 

Mario Nunez, Sophomore

“Yes because people can have more say and express more. more people can give their opinion.”

 

Nicole Rider, Sophomore

“I think we should be able to vote at 16 because some of us work and pay taxes.”

 

Aksel Torres Medina , Senior

“No because people who went to war could not vote so they lowered it but 16 is just too low.”

 

Isiah Carson, Sophomore

“No because at 16 you’re not well educated reach a certain maturity level to fully understand.”

 

Dayshawn Kudson, Sophomore

“We should.  Our vote matters. If we lower it at 16, kids might be more serious.”

 

Jose Rivera , Sophomore

“Yes we should because it mostly impacts the younger generation and it gives them a good perspective on what adults do.”

 

Sam Schuhl grade , Sophomore

“Yes the voting age should be lowered because it is irresponsible for a democratic government to limit the participation abilities of people who contribute to the economy on both a local or federal level through employment work especially when most of  the laws voted on have a direct impact on the jobs held by the 16-year-old minimum wage workers. We need to move away from arbitrary measurements of age and mortality and allow the democratic process to be more inclusive of those those involved in it.”

 

Jen Loeung, Teacher

“At this point I don’t think we should lower it. Most kids don’t follow politics or know the social impacts of what a vote could mean it is more likely that a student would be swayed by their parents or pop stars or peer. Some still lack experiences in considering issues that affect the community as a whole. For example bills for your grandparents age bracket, which is the highest growing population in the United States, to checking the sources on the news.”

 

Anne Haverkamp, Teacher

“No! (Even) 18 is ridiculous.”

 

Joshua Closser, Sophomore

“18 is more mature.”

 

Joe Massey, Security

“16 year olds are not mature enough to make that decision.”

 

Joel McKee, Teacher

“It’s a good thing. It engages people earlier in the democratic process and makes what kids are learning in school more real as opposed to future based.”

 

Anna Cirbo, Teacher

“No because I think kids will vote based off emotions, I think 18 Is even too young.”

 

Carl Green, Freshmen

“Yes because we all have our rights.”

 

Kristin Klotter, Teacher

“I have mixed thoughts on lowering the voting age. There’s a time of growth in the brain and I think it’s from the ages of 18 and 19 and I think that some 16-year-olds have brains that are ready to consider voting In my experience 18 and 19-year-olds are ready for this.”

 

Should The Voting Age Be Lowered To 16?

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About the Writers
Christa Pierik, Co-Editor

This is junior Christa Pierik’s first year in journalism. Other than journalism, Christa is a part of CHS’s Hi-C dance team, girls tennis team, Concert...

Aaron Valentine, Staff Writer

Sophomore Aaron Valentine is a beginner to journalism. He enjoys exercise, comic books, hanging with friends and aspires to be a photographer.

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