Thursday, April 4, 2019

Voting at Age 16?

by Emily (grade 7)

Teens in San Francisco making their case to vote at age 16
Photo Credit: San Francisco Youth Commission
Do you think people should be allowed to vote before they are legally an adult? Teenagers all over Oregon are in favor of the new bill to let citizens vote at the age of sixteen. They are curious as to why they can drive a car and pay taxes, but do not get a say in who is the next president. 

"We need to be able to take our work to the ballot and protect the policies we’re working so hard to pass,” says a Salem High school student Maria Torres. “We’re experts of our own experiences,” said Connor Gabor.

I asked some students at Black Butte School what their opinions are. 

Audrie says, “I think its stupid  because people under the age of eighteen usually are thinking of stuff different than it is said to be.”

Scott says, “I think people should vote at age eighteen because their prefrontal cortex is more developed.”

“I think it’s good because more people would be able to vote,” says Lily. 

“It makes teenagers feel important,” Jojo adds. 

I don’t think its a bad idea. Maybe by allowing teenagers to vote we can have more opinions on politicians. A two year difference isn’t that much, and an eighteen year old is just as likely to believe what their parents believe. Teens might be more interested in politics if they get to participate. 

It could also end badly, though, if they didn’t have the right information about the candidates. We could end up electing someone with ill intentions on certain people or America. Even though there are potential risks, the bill would allow many more voters to express their opinions. It’s an interesting idea and it would be cool to see what happens if this bill is passed.

The Nugget News published an associated press article on this topic on April 3, 2019. Read it here

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