Debate on Lowering the Voting Age to 16


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A. Being an American has many great benefits because we have many rights as an individual like privacy, a strong constitution and a centralized government with balanced powers. As the people of the United States we have the right to vote to express our beliefs and to hear our voice. According to free voting is defined as “a formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue”. We face with many issues every day politically and It allows the men and women to get rid of bad governments and makes sure that any government listens to its people. There is a proposition going on and age wanting to change the policy on voting age qualifications. There are many discussions about this because people say there to young should not vote because they haven’t fully matured or some argue that they should because voting represents a voice.

Three arguments for the policy

B. The truth is that many 16 year olds would love to have the right to vote because it represents the responsibility and shows that you are mature enough to politically vote, express your opinions and shows how serious this is and what a difference it can make. Many teenagers are of course immature, but this is one of the ways we can improve the young people by engaging them into politics. At this age many young adults are just as capable of forming opinions.

C. Many argue that 16 year olds should be able to vote because at that age they can start driving. Driving is a big part of today’s society because you must be responsible enough to make decisions whether to take the light by being at risked for a ticket, the responsibility to watch out for any pedestrians, driving safely especially when you have passengers. This is a very big responsibility to anyone and if a 16 year old is able to drive then maybe they can be able to vote too.

D. Alex Koroknay Palicz quoted that “at that age most teenagers can work, pay taxes, drive and be charged as adults for crimes – even be sentenced to death”- executive director of the National Youth Rights Association. Activist argue this issues a lot because if you work you are contributing the right of being a citizen and if an issues comes along that affects workers well this will have a great affect the 16 and 17 year olds because they wont be politically involved by expressing there opinion or demands.

Three arguments against the policy

E. This new proposition is manly on the young adults, but many argue that they are just too young. Many of these 16 and 17 year olds are still in high school and at that age is the age rebellion, trying to be cool by fitting in by smoking, doing drugs and ditching school. Most teenagers go trough that even I did when I was in high school. Many of these teens haven’t fully matured and are worried of many other things. Many of them still live at home with their parents being dependent on them by providing food, shelter, decision making. They have adult bodies, but many still act as if there were children by rebelling authority. The difference between 18 year olds and 16 is the fact is that once graduating you become more aware your responsibilities. Most 18’s year olds go to college and it is a big difference from high school they start driving to work and school and pay for there college. Some move out and develop more responsibilities. I don’t think that there are going to be a lot of sixteen and seventeen year olds out there that are willing and concerned enough to take the time and energy to register to vote.

F. The young adolescents are also not politically involved or even informed. Statistically the percentages of 16 year olds have limited knowledge of the candidates and issues. A lot of them can pass there classes with a D and that letter grade is a very poor grade. If this is true than why should we let 16 year olds to vote when they don’t understand how our system works.

G. Others argue about this new proposition government do things that affect every age group, but that does not mean everyone deserves the vote. Alastair Endersby stated “Should 12 year olds get the vote because school policies affect them? Should toddlers get the vote because health services affect them? No – we trust parents to cast votes after thinking about the interests of their families”. Also, it can be a bit dangerous to the adolescents to vote because they can vote for the wrong reasons for example a certain celebrity is running for office just because they liked how that person is on a movie they would get the vote like how Arnold Swartzenager got to be governor and he sucked because he has no experience what’s so ever on politics.

Three constitutional principles

H. This proposition has its pros and cons which can have a great affect on many young people and our political votes. This issue reflects back in history when we amended the 15th amendment which was the right for African Americans to vote, but it was only African American MEN. The 15 amendment stated “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. This actually reflects on today’s society because now we have a black president for the first time and this wouldn’t of happened if we didn’t amended it.

I. Women are strong political vocal people and for years the women were fighting to have the right to vote. The 19th amendment was a great victory for women that granted the right to vote for women, but it took 50 years after the 15th amendment was passed. The amendment stated prohibits each of the states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote because of that citizen’s sex. In the 2009 election we had Hilary Clinton the first woman to run for president in the united states because on the amendment in 1920 she was able to run for president representing all the strong women in the U.S.

J. Amendment 26 was the standardized the voting age to 18 by the United States Constitution. This was in 1971 that this gave many 18 year olds the right to politically vote and have a voice. This age is an appropriate age to vote because they have fully matured and also developed political discussions and responsibilities.

Work Cited

Edwards, George. Government in America. New York: Pearson Longman,
Endersby , Alastair . “Voting Age Lowering”. 09/11/2009 .
“Voting”. The Free Dictionary. 09/10/2009 .
Weiser, Carl . “Should voting age fall to 16?”. The Enquirer. 09/11/2009 .