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7 Lawmakers' Quotes on Lowering Voting Age

By    |   Saturday, 18 July 2015 08:56 PM

Many lawmakers have added their voices to the debate about whether to lower the voting age to 16, providing quotes about the issue.

Takoma Park and Hyattsville in Maryland were the first two municipalities in the United States to decrease their voting age from 18 to 16, allowing these teenagers to participate in city elections, The Washington Post reported.

More recently, San Francisco has looked into lowering its voting age, which would make it the first major U.S. city to do so. City officials, however, have decided to postpone the vote on the issue until next year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Here are some quotes from lawmakers in states that have considered the change.

1. “The best way to change low voter turnout is to educate the youth on their duty as citizens to vote. For young people, voting early will hopefully stick with them and they'll vote again and again.”
– Arizona Rep. Ed Ableser, Cronkite News Service, on his 2008 proposed constitutional amendment to lower Arizona’s voting age to 16

2. “They find that 16-, 17-year-olds vote like any other older voter. They know the policies, they know stuff that represent their interests and they vote.”
– Takoma Park City Councilmember Tim Male, WJLA-TV, on the results of other countries lowering their voting age to 16 in his effort to do so in Takoma Park, Maryland, 2013

3. “The charter we have today is something that has evolved over scores and scores of years, and it’s not something to be tampered with lightly.”
– Takoma Park Councilman Fred Schultz, The Washington Post, on why he voted against the proposal to lower the voting age, 2013

4. “We keep telling youth we want them involved in our city and government, and yet the message we send by denying them the right to vote is that their voice doesn’t matter.”
– Hyattsville Councilman Patrick Paschall, The Washington Post, on decreasing the voting age in Hyattsville, Maryland, to 16, 2014

5. “If we trust them to drive at 16, why don’t we trust them to vote? An irresponsible driver can do much more harm than an irresponsible voter.”
– Minnesota State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, The New York Times, on why she supports decreasing the voting age to 16, 2007

6. “As I was visiting schools, as I talked to classes, I asked them what kind of things would make a difference. Among the ideas tossed out were having 17-year-olds be able to vote.”
– Minnesota State Sen. Steve Kelley, Debatewise, on what teenagers think about lowering the voting age

7. “We need more time to discuss this with young people and the public in general.”
– San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos, San Francisco Chronicle, on why the vote to decrease the voting age was postponed until next year

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Many lawmakers have added their voices to the debate about whether to lower the voting age to 16, providing quotes about the issue.
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Saturday, 18 July 2015 08:56 PM
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