The voting age should be lowered to 16 years old

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The voting age should be lowered to 16 years old

Oliver Litner- Staff Writer, Nadia Grauman- Creative Director

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On Nov. 6, 2018, frustrated Calabasas High School students stormed past the “polling place” sign on their way to class. While all people over the age of 18 can vote in the election at CHS, which is an official voting facility,, most students cannot take part and voice their political opinions. The general public believes that all people under the age of 18 are too young, immature and uneducated to make decisions regarding the future of the country. However, the legal voting age should be moved to 16 because teenagers should have a direct say on policies that directly affect them, their opinions are more pointed than adults’ and they have proven through countless protests and acts of activism that they’re mature enough to tackle adult issues.

The primary citizens who vote at these polls are making decisions on issues that do not affect them; many of these decisions will, in fact, affect teenagers. High schoolers deserve to be a part of the nationwide discussion about laws that determine policies like education. Many politicians base their campaigns on education issues, yet the very people affected by these campaigns have no authority to vote for their preferred administration. Instead parents and adults with no firsthand experience with the modern schooling system are making these decisions. This secondhand expression of ideas can easily be solved by allowing 16-year-olds to vote.

Even more, many high schoolers are more invested and educated in politics than current voters. The high school Turning Point USA chapters prove that many 16-year-olds have already developed their standpoints on certain issues, and often students intermingle and discuss their political views. Students’ interest in politics but lack of ability to share their perspectives accentuates the problem with the voting age, in that these students have no power to influence.

“[Students] have very well thought out positions and frankly, in many cases, they’re leading the adults,” said Washington D.C. city councilman Charles Allen, according to Newsela.

Students all around the nation continue to demonstrate separate teenage activism, showing that high schoolers are mature enough to determine laws. Motivated teenagers are the reason gun control is still a massive, nationwide debate. Students’ forceful protests attacking politicians who have failed to pass meaningful reform laws prove the importance of catering to the youth in politics. The #NeverAgain movement, establishing protests, walkouts and rallies to create more awareness for the opposition was created entirely by students.

On the other hand, many believe that teenagers are too impressionable and uneducated to voice their opinions. They believe that if the voting age is moved to 16, the parents’ of these teenagers will use their children’s votes to further their own beliefs. This stereotype assumes s that voting teenagers would hold the exact same beliefs as their parents, but this is untrue as teenagers are completely capable of having strong, independent political views. Teenagers should be voting because they deserve to influence policies that affect their lives, their beliefs are sharper than adults’ and they have proven their maturity and intelligence.

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The voting age should be lowered to 16 years old