Should 16-Year-Olds Have the Right To Vote?


Alicia Beyer, Centurtion Staff

It seems with the midterms rapidly approaching, those who can’t participate are feeling a little voter envy.
With the school shootings that have been all over the news this year, 16-year-old students are beginning to advocate for lowering the age to vote, but should we listen?
In 2013, Takoma Park, MD made history by allowing 16-17 year olds to vote in local elections. Since then only one other community in the suburbs of Washington D.C. has followed suit.
The argument for lowering the voting age to 16 is that many 16-year-olds already play an active role within their communities.
Teens across the country have jobs, some more than one, and their paychecks have the same taxes taken out of their paychecks that adults have too.
Teens have also found themselves at the center of hot button issues such as mass shootings in schools. Take the students at Parkland for example. Those teenagers have been the face of the gun control movement ever since the shooting back in February.
In fact, Bucks student Stephanie Brossmann agreed about lowering the voting age by two years.
“16 year olds should be allowed to vote because that’s when most employers start hiring them for their company. If they have taxes going to the government, they should be able to have a say in the government they are paying for,” said Brossmann.
On the other hand, some people don’t think 16 year olds are mature enough yet and aren’t educated enough on certain political topics.
Matthew Marshall says, “16 year old kids should not be allowed to vote because most of them do not know where they stand with politics and their beliefs, most just go off of what their parents aren’t telling them.”
Mirroring this sentiment, Suzanne Lescysenski expressed how she knew nothing about voting when she was 16.
She went on to explain, “If I would have voted when I was 16, it would have been a very uneducated decision.”
Joshua Taylor brought in a slightly different viewpoint.
“16-year-olds should be able to vote, if they take certain classes in high school and become educated on the matter. I personally think that the voting system should be stricter than it is, and the bias of age should be part of how strict it is. As long as they are becoming educated, that’s all that matters”, Taylor said.
Unsurprisingly, the push to lower the voting age has many opponents.
While others think that even people in the ages of 25-35 shouldn’t be allowed to vote, and that they should have to take classes to take a test to be able to vote, just like driving.
What do you think? Should 16 year old’s be allowed to vote?