DAA Daily

Should the Voting Age be Lowered

By Lauren Chalouhi, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

To be able to vote for the next president of the United States, one must be at least 18 years old. Before the Vietnam War, the voting age was 21. In 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18 by the 26th Amendment of the Constitution. Today, many young people are showing commitment and engagement in terms of politics and the news. However, these young citizens are not granted the right to share their fresh and new opinions through voting. Some cities and towns in the U.S. allow 16-year-olds to vote in smaller elections. For example, citizens the age of 16 living in Maryland can vote in local elections. I believe that the voting age should stay at 18. It was once lowered before and it shouldn’t be again. I think that 18 years old is a mature enough age for people to make a big decision for their country. 

The U.S. House of Representatives rejected an amendment that proposed the idea that the voting age should be lowered to 16, in 2019. In some countries like Argentina, Scotland, and Brazil, 16-year-olds hold the privilege to vote. Two young reporters, Sophia Hou (11 years old) and Miguel Hos (10 years old) held a debate on whether the voting age in the U.S should be altered or not. 

Sofia Hou believes that the voting age should be decreased. She thinks that lowering the voting age to 16 would be good for democracy and will increase civic engagement at an earlier age. She explained that reducing the voting age would captivate the attention of youths by making them open their eyes to the global issues our world is facing and the role of politics in that. Furthermore, many young people have different opinions and perspectives than adults which can be valuable in this case. The young generation can make people rethink their choices by making them see the world through different lenses. Sofia Hou thinks that everyone’s voice, including young people’s voices, should be heard especially during the election process. However, I disagree with her. Although Sofia Hou made some good points, I still don’t believe that 16-year-olds should be able to vote. Many young people can still be interested in politics without having a role in it. In addition, if they are very opinionated and invested in politics, they can wait 2 more years in order to vote. 

Miguel Madero believes that the voting age should stay the same. He mentioned that before the Vietnam War, the voting age was 21. Then when the 18-year-olds went to war, they said that if they were old enough to fight for their country, then they must be at a reasonable age in terms of having the right to vote. This is related to the U.S because after the U.S voting age decreased to 18, some people are still contemplating whether or not to further decrease the age to 16. The argument these people are supporting is that if 16-year-olds are allowed to drive, then they must be allowed to vote as well. Miguel Madero believes that the age mustn’t change because this will create a larger incentive for people to come up with more excuses supporting a further reduction in the voting age. I agree with Madero, the voting age has already dropped once before, and for a good reason. People are now comparing voting and driving which isn’t a strong argument to drop the age once again. Being able to vote for the next president is very important because it impacts the U.S. and the world. Although driving is important, it isn’t as crucial and risky as voting. 

Not only is voting a right, but it’s a responsibility. In my opinion, a 16-year-old doesn’t have the same maturity as an 18-year-old. They aren’t capable of making such crucial decisions even though many people think they will. They might vote for someone because he or she is popular or for other similar reasons. They won’t realize the impact of their decisions and how integral elections are for development, growth, advancement, and prosperity. Elections affect all spheres of society. If elections aren’t handled delicately, the whole society may collapse.

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