Should the Voting Age Be Changed?

With 2020 being an election year, many people have sparked conversation about the voting age.

As of right now, the voting age is eighteen, though many younger people are eager to vote and would rather have it be at sixteen.  This stems from an argument used in the past, “No taxation without representation”.  This slogan was used during the time of the American Revolution.  The colonists used this to express their want to have a say in the British parliament if they are going to be taxed.  Therefore, if they had no representation in the government the colonists believed they should not pay taxes because it would be tyranny.  Though sixteen year olds who have jobs pay taxes and they cannot vote yet.  

I asked a fellow student named Rachel Miller (‘23) what she thought about the voting age.  She stated that, “I think the voting age is fine the way it is because when you are an adult you should have your own mindset and viewpoints and be able to vote for who you think best fits the job.”  She expressed that she believes that the voting age should stay at eighteen because that is the age when you become an adult. Miller believes that if the legal age of maturity is eighteen, then that should be the age when you should vote since you will be mature enough to act on the future.   

This sparks the debate between people believing eighteen is a perfect voting age. Because you will be an adult and mature enough to vote, many people believe this is the age to keep it at. Others believe that sixteen years old is better because you are given different responsibilities that represent matureness. 

When asking another student named Mia Karlehag, (‘23) she brought up a different reason and believes that the voting age should be changed.  Mia Karlehag said, “The voting age should be lowered to sixteen because you are given the responsibility to drive at that age so you should be able to handle your future too.”  She further explained that to have the responsibility of putting your life and others into your own hands by driving and not being able to decide your future does not make sense.  This reason answers the question of why many young people are advocating for the voting age to be changed.  

At sixteen, most adults tell you that politics will not affect you at that young of an age.  Teenagers get outraged at this comment because politics will decide their future and express that it is unfair for older people to decide what will happen to their future.  A cause for this argument occurred from the fear of climate change.  Scientists have been voicing their concern about global warming, and how we need solutions for it.  Primarily, younger people will be affected by climate change since our world is getting hotter and our future is at stake.  Most of Generation Z, along with lots of other young people want officials to issue better environmental policies, but because of the voting age they cannot act on their own future.  

The voting age is a debate that will go on for long.  Some will say that it is fine the way it is while others believe it should be changed. The debate of the rightful voting age continues as people give input to what they believe is right.