Last week, Pittsburghers turned out to vote in the May primaries. That is, Pittsburghers over the age of 18 helped decide which local candidates will go on to the November election. In contrast, Takoma Park, Maryland, has just passed a measure giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in municipal elections.
Many other communities in the United States are considering lowering their voting ages as well; several countries around the world have recently lowered the age to 16. One argument to support lowering the voting age is that young people also have a lot at stake when it comes to who is making decisions in our country. Another argument is that by enfranchising younger people, the country will have more lifelong voters.
Opponents of lowering the voting age question the decision-making ability of teens. However, as with many other social and political issues, like the drinking age, driving age, enlistment age, and age to be tried as an adult, it is difficult to pinpoint a cutoff age.
What do you think? Do you think that a 16-year-old can make as informed and logical decisions as an 18-year-old? Would you like to vote at age 16? Leave your comments and opinions!
In the meantime, as you wait to turn 18 to be able to vote here in PA, check out these books.