OPINION: Should we lower the voting age?


Takoma Park is the first city in America that has lowered their legal voting age to 16 years old, which will definitely have a positive effect on the youth of America and the results of future elections.

According to ThePhilidelphiaCitizen.org, the amount of total voters in Takoma Park for City Council was quite low, totaling about 11 percent of the population; however, over 40 percent of those voters were 16-17-year-olds

Many people within the city argued against the law back in April because they thought 16- and 17-year-olds “lack maturity and experience to handle the responsibility” (Washington Post). While it is true that 16-year-olds are mainly sophomores and juniors in high school and that seems young to most people, they aren’t as immature as many think. At 16, we’re able to get our permit and license, and at 17, we can join the Armed Forces and get a legitimate part-time or even full-time job. All of these acts can only be performed by mature citizens, and if a 16-or-17-year-old can serve his/her country or operate an automobile, they should most definitely be allowed to vote.

The University of Nottingham posted an article about how teenagers nowadays are getting most of their information about the world from social media. In the article, they said, “Youth today frequently get their political information from social media rather than traditional media. The information given is more interactive, user-centered, briefer, easier to process and visually attractive.” Due to this, many 16- and 17-year-olds have been more inclined to pay attention and learn about the political world around them. Because of this, more and more teenagers have developed educated opinions, and they believe they should be able to make a decision, based on their opinions.

Recently, however, a trend has emerged called “Fake News.” It’s pretty self-explanatory; it’s when fictional news circulates through media platforms. It has gained some notoriety within the past couple months. This trend has started to discredit social media as a way of receiving valid news about politics and the world, which, unfortunately, could lead to young adults developing opinions based on untrue information.

The youth of America has been maturing as a whole over the past few decades, and it seems like it is a direct result of the birth of social media. 16- and 17-year-olds of this generation have developed more intelligent and informed opinions. Being able to vote at an earlier age is important for a plethora of reasons, but the main one is that most, if not all, young adults want a say in their future. I believe that in doing this, America will be able to truly thrive as all age groups that really want a voice will have one.