by Alisson Duque, Tyro Times Staff
“They deserve to have their voices heard at the ballot box, and to have a say in the change for which they’re vigorously advocating,” New York representative Grace Meng said. “It’s clear to me that they should be allowed to vote.”
It is clear that 16 year-olds should be able to vote. 16 year-olds are knowledgeable on topics and circumstances involving civics and politics. People under the age of 18 have formed Political Action Committees, managed campaigns, as well as advocated for our rights. 16 year-olds can make a change, and have proven to already be doing so. Also, 16 year-olds have similar scores to adults when it comes to civic knowledge, political skills, and political efficiency. Although, 16 year-olds are not adults, they have the same skills and understanding on politics. If 16 year-olds are just as knowledgeable on civics and politics, they should be allowed to vote.
Did you know that about 250,000 people under the age of 18 are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults every year in the U.S.? In 2011, people under 18 paid over 730 million dollars in income tax. They had no representation on how this money should be spent. People under the age of 18, with jobs, are taxed on their earnings without having a say in changing that. This is taxation without representation. Also, 16 year-olds can be emancipated from their parents and live independently. 16 year-olds can live independently, and they can be treated as adults. If they can be treated as adults, they should be able to vote like adults as well.
If 16 year-olds were allowed to vote, the voting turnout rate would be higher. In 2013, Takoma Park, Maryland lowered its voting age to 16 and the voting turnout rate was four times higher than voters over 18. There was a higher amount of 16 year-olds voting rather than adults. Also, it is a fact that people who vote in the first election in which they’re eligible will create a habit of voting consistently. It is better to start this habit at the age of 16 rather than 18. More peoples’ views and opinions will be counted if 16 year-olds are allowed to vote.
16 year-olds should be allowed to vote because they should be able to have a say in the change that is going to be made in the U.S., they are just as knowledgeable on politics and civics, and the voting turnout rate will be higher. We need to advocate for 16 year-olds voters.