Should Teens Have the Opportunity to Vote?

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Should Teens Have the Opportunity to Vote?

Logan Henley, Reporter

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   In the United States, Election Day is when general elections are held and citizens cast ballots to select public officials, from local to national government. Election Day was held on November 5 this year, and has been around since 1792. Every four years a presidential election is held. There have been many federal laws passed over the years to help protect Americans’ right to vote, and the laws that come with voting on Election Day. Voting age is a topic that is largely debated. There are so many teens that are mature and understanding with their reasoning for teen voting and opinions of others’ views of teen voting, but there are also many teens that aren’t.

      In 2016, 61.4 percent of the citizen voting-age population voted, and none were below the age of 18 years old. Many United States citizens below and over the age of 18 argue that teens should be allowed to vote. A Washington D.C. city councilman proposed lowering the voting age in local and federal elections from 18 to 16, but the idea had been rejected by many. A man named Charles Allen wanted to pass a bill that would drop the voting age from 18 to 16, but the bill was rejected by the committee. Since 2010, many towns and communities have already lowered the voting age for local elections to 16, and many other communities who haven’t done this are seriously considering it. Some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in state and presidential primary elections if they turn 18 before the general election. Many teens are happy with being able to vote for local elections, but some would like to vote on Election Day.

     Teens aren’t the only supporters for the cause. Many citizens who are old enough to vote agree that the voting age should be lowered so that teens can vote and have a say. But ,many others think teens should not be able to vote at all. Charles Allen is one of many people who support this movement. Charles claims that his greatest reason of motivation for this movement is that many 16-year-olds are taxpayers who cannot vote for their own elected representation. This is one of the reasons that many people think teens should be able to vote. The issue speaks loudly to those who disagree with the movement, and even those who agree with it.

     The question of voting for teens has resurfaced the past decade due to behavior, and not for the good. Many groups of teens have staged protests for many different reasons and topics that can be unnecessary, which have again brought up the question if teens should really be allowed to vote. In October, four Sydney Australian teens were arrested for protesting after police asked them to move on as they were blocking traffic. The teens ignored the police and continued their protest which led to their arrest. Some teens say that doing tasks such as going to work, driving a car, doing community service, and helping others shows that they are responsible enough to vote, but are disproved by immature actions of other teens or opinions of those who are older and can vote. If immature teens keep participating or staging protests and acting immature publicly about their opinions politically or not, they may have to wait until they are old enough to vote.

    Despite the reasons that show teens should not vote, there are many reasons that show teens should vote as well.  Everyday teens are affected by laws they do not have a voice in, so letting them vote for reasons like that are understandable. Some teens also feel that if they are old enough to drive, they should be old enough to vote.

“We must vote for hope, vote for life, vote for a brighter future for all of our loved ones,” said Ed Markey.

Many teens feel that they should be able to vote to impact their future, and even their kids’ future. Since voting impacts everyone, why can’t teens vote?

     The reasons for why teens should vote are apparent, but so are the reasons why they shouldn’t. Most of the reasons that keep teens from voting are out of their hands.The teens who protest and act out immaturely ruin the view of a possibility of teen voting for teens who act mature with their political thoughts and views.