Tags: Voting Rights | lower | voting age | pros and cons

Pros and Cons of Lowering the Voting Age

By    |   Saturday, 18 Jul 2015 07:25 PM

The United States ratified the 26th Amendment in 1971 after weighing the pros and cons of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Today, there is a growing movement to allow teenagers aged 16 and 17 to vote in elections.

The trend is a cause for debate, however, as some remain in favor of the change while others stand firmly against it, according to Debatewise.

VOTE NOW: Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed to Vote?

Here are some of the pros and cons of lowering the voting age.

PROS

1. It’s more democratic.
The more people voting, the more voice citizens of the United States would have, providing a better look into the wants of the population and the needs for public policy, the Asia-Pacific Economics Blog reported.

2. Voter turnout may increase.
The United States does not have the best voter turnout with 50 percent to 60 percent of the voting population casting their ballots in the presidential elections, the University of California, Santa Barbara reported.

The Asia-Pacific Economics Blog notes the young demographic is some of the most engaged, and by extending it to a younger age, that could fuel their passion for many years into the future.

HeadCount noted that for every month
of extra age that is restricted in allowing people to vote, there is a decline in “first vote” turnout.

3. More voices could mean more innovation.
With more people involved in politics, the next generation may provide new insights and ideas to contribute to the public debate and discussion.

CONS

1. Young people tend to be easily swayed.
Teenage years are a time when individuals are figuring out who they are, what they want to do, and what they believe. Because of their lack of experience they are likely to be manipulated by others, according to HeadCount.

2. They may not be mature enough to vote.
At 16 and 17, teens are just getting access to the car, but they are still not trusted to do things like gamble, consume tobacco, and drink alcohol. Plus, they’re just under 10 years from being allowed to rent a vehicle in many places. It puts into question whether they are developmentally prepared to help make important decisions about the country’s future.

3. They are not informed enough to vote.
Teens lack real world experience and do not have a good understanding of how certain decisions may affect a nation over time. High school students would be just learning about how the government functions as they received the right to participate in the election process. Additionally, teenagers tend not to pay too much attention to current events, according to Headcount.

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The United States ratified the 26th Amendment in 1971 after weighing the pros and cons of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Today, there is a growing movement to allow teenagers aged 16 and 17 to vote in elections.
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2015-25-18
Saturday, 18 Jul 2015 07:25 PM
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