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There are so many issues that I could write about for my first post, but I decided to give my opinion on lowering the voting age to 16.

I'm high school teacher, and I come in contact with multiple 16 year olds on a daily basis. These kids are sometimes pretty bright and are often inquisitive and interested in the political process. Many of them also have very strong opinions about politics and the direction our country should go.

They also have underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes. While they are beginning to think about things, they don't have the ability to be entirely rational in their thinking. They are ruled by emotion and hormones. They have very little impulse control. They do not typically consider long-term consequences.

This is not to say that these young people do not have potential or intelligence, but it is to say that they don't have the brain development to make decisions that affect millions upon millions of people.

Frankly, having taught a number of 18 year olds, I am tempted to increase the voting age back to 21 rather than lowering it.

One thing that really set me off on this topic is something that I heard a commentator say yesterday on a news program. This person was arguing that because the voting age had been lowered to 18 before, it was only fair to lower it again to 16. He claimed that the previous lowering of the voting age was based on an 18 year old's ability to enter the workforce and pay taxes. He further contended that 16 year olds also work and pay taxes, so they should be able to vote.

I was shocked that no one else in this conversation called him on this point. What he said was patently false and misleading. The voting age was not lowered because 18 year olds pay taxes. It was specifically lowered because 18 year olds were being drafted and sent off to war, and it was argued that anyone who could die for our country deserved to vote. I agree with this notion, and for that reason make my comment about 18 year olds in half jest.

Still, I would be open to a discussion that raised the voting age to 21 or even 25, the age at which your prefrontal cortex should have completely developed, for anyone who is not serving in the military. I am open to hearing your thoughts and eager to hear them, too.

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Mrs_SO 5 Mar 19

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I’m a bit of a radical on this one; Raise the voting age to 25, but that alone does not entitle one to vote. I want mandatory testing of basic civics and competencies, in the most non-partisan manner possible, before the Citizen can cast a ballot. I don’t know where we got this idea that anyone who can pull a lever gets a say in how we run our country. Furthermore, for Senate elections, only those who own their own home should be allowed to vote. This is in line with the Senate’s purpose in the Republican form of government, to prevent the bottom 51% voting to take away the wealth of the top 49%, or other resource grabs along those lines.

Taxes - they don't care that you're educated on the issues. They just want you placated and fooled into believing you make an impact on policy, while they take your money to do WTH they want anyway.

I disagree with home ownership for voting rights. There are plenty of people that chose to rent, lease, or RV that are well informed and should be afforded to opportunity to vote. Home ownership doesn't prove anything about the person, nor validate their opinion.

@jondspen Pretty much, which is a system that also needs a good fix or two.

I didn’t say home ownership for all voting rights, just for the Senate. That way we have a check on excessive tax grabs by the poor against the rich, as was originally the case in early America. What home ownership proves is that they have a direct stake in a piece of this country, however small, and can’t just up and leave when things start falling apart. Along the same line, my policy would provide a nice incentive for well-informed and politically minded people to purchase such a stake of their own.

@StrykerWolfe And how does home ownership affect any of your arguments? I can up and leave a home anytime I want, either by selling, oopsie grease fire (wink wink), or just default on my mortgage. You do realize that home ownership really doesn't grant you a stake in anything, since you don't really own the home. At any time, the government can come in and seize it for a road or public utility, and any 'work' you do on your own property has to be approved by the city/county. And let's not even get into HOAs. Also - what do you mean "when things start falling apart" - 2008 lots of shit fell apart and people just walked away while banks got a big fat check from the government. If you are talking about a total TEOTWAEKI - then owning a home won't make a bit of difference.

@jondspen Home ownership gives one a stake in that the money they would otherwise have in another form is now tied directly to the country in question. If things start going badly in the country, home prices start to fall. If things start going well, home prices start to go up, and vice versa. Land in general is a good economic indicator in this way. No to say that they can’t just leave, but they will have to take a loss to do so, and the threat of that loss keeps their political solutions tied to the welfare of the whole country.

@StrykerWolfe Your analysis and inferences are naive and simplistic. 2008 is proof that market economics has nothing to do with home values. Markets were doing well as people were defaulting on loans, and the banks propped up the system till they could off-load their bad debt. It was at this point they let the system collapse to rake in money at the expense of taxpayers. Also, you're argument is that I can own a business, but I shouldn't have a say in the policies that affect my business - nor am I tied to the area. Do you honestly argue people are invest in a plot of land over the health and welfare of their family? Family is what keep people tied in to the area and the system and area. If not, why is home ownership so prevalent in the US compared to world numbers, yet we have such dismal voter turnout. If it is corollary - home owner numbers and voter turnout should match - which they don't. A good economic indicator is the quality of life (cost of goods, services, available heath and services, jobs, etc.). You argument negates that people aren't motivated by living a decent life in a productive society will all the benefits that entails, without owning a home - which is ludicrous. "If things start going badly in the country, home prices start to fall." - yea, and so does QOL and all the other things (more important things that I just mentioned) that go with living in a society. Land/home ownership is not the end all / be all of community investment as you would claim.

@jondspen Can you vote in local election where you live if your not a home owner

@sweepercda Yes, as long as you can prove residency in that area. That could be a rental agreement, utility bill, etc. Pretty much, whatever qualifies you to get a driver license with that address, is all you need, since proof is usually just presenting your DL. Which makes sense. If I am renting or leasing, and my kids go to school in the area, I should have an input on how the county runs the schools. Same with decisions on police, fire, roads, and all the other community services supported by taxes. Even though I might not pay property tax directly, by renting, I am paying my landlord, who pays property tax. When it comes to the state and federal level, I'm renting and living in a community, so my tax dollars go to services that affect my QOL both directly and indirectly.

@jondspen I’m not claiming that it is any sort of “be all and end all” of community investment, simply that it is a good one. You claim 2008 proves that home ownership has nothing to do with market economics, when it was literally the housing market that crashed, when the banks were offering home ownership at sub prime mortgage rates to people who would otherwise not have been able to purchase said homes. How in the world that makes sense I don’t know. Owning a business is a very good indicator of how tied one is to the community, and Business owners tend to have their own homes. Businesses themselves tend to be located on land. All of these are simply arguments to bolster my point, not take away from it. “Quality of life” has 75 different variables in the 2019 “Best countries to live in” list. Sure, it’s an amazing indicator, but how in the world are you going to use that as something by which to restrict voting? Interview everyone? Where would you even set the bar? The people living the top 20% best lives in the country. QOL is not a useful indicator here, however good it might be.

@StrykerWolfe "2008 proves that home ownership has nothing to do with market economics, when it was literally the housing market that crashed, when the banks were offering home ownership at sub prime mortgage rates to people who would otherwise not have been able to purchase said homes." EXACTLY - A bubble was created by politicians to get unqualified people into homes they couldn't afford, regardless of the credit, job history, disposable income of the individual. So the market was propped up on lies and (essentially) insider trading by corrupt and greedy banks/wall st. Then once they off loaded the bad investments on their books to others, they allowed the market to "reset" to absolute shit. Granted, had the banks/wall us government NOT purposely been FRAUDULENT to protect this SCUM - yes, the housing/economic markets should have been directly correlated. The fact this played out the way it did proves the whole system is rigged to benefit a select few. I agree with you that it SHOULD NOT be this way, but we have to face the truth that corruption in the system is so rampant, that nothing works without puppeteers pulling the string.

I don't argue to restrict voting beyond residency/tax payer status/community investment, and that is my whole point. As long as you pay taxes into a community, and are invested in that community by residing in it (i.e. - the shit that happens in the community affects you and how you live). If you pay into, and have a stake in the community, then you should have a say it the community. Home ownership would define renters as second class citizens, who don't deserve a voice.

@jondspen Corruption in the government is a massive problem, to the point where I wouldn’t even know which layer of said corruption to address first.

Your point is a valid concern, and I anticipated some backlash. My idea is not to keep renters from voting at all, they can vote in elections at every level (municipal to federal) for the House of Representatives. The restriction on voting for home ownership is only for the Senate of each respective level of government, to make them into a sort of “second house” as an additional check on the first. So renters have a reduced voice yes, but still a voice nonetheless.


Another opinion....

Raise the voting age to 21. Raise the military age to 21. Raise the smoking age to 21. Keep the drinking age at 21. You can get your probationary drivers license at 18, probation ends at 21.

I just think we need some consistency. It's the old argument that if you are old enough to fight and die for your country you should be old enough for everything else. I don't like the argument that military under the age of 21 can vote but non-military under 21 can't. How does that make sense? You are either old enough or you are not.

If you think it's fine to enter military service at 18, then why not vote and drink at the same age?

Does that mean we make anyone under 21 a minor? also, does that mean that they continue high school for 3 additional years?


No and no.

Allow them to have the responsibility of an adult without the privileges. If 3 years of "probationary" adulthood seems harsh, a compromise of 20 years old would be fine with me. You are an adult at 18, your privileges begin at 20 or 21. Is it fair? Maybe not. Is it sensible, I think so.

I don't think any changes are likely, but I think the discussion is worth having.

And before anyone says it, yes, voting is a privilege. It has been given to certain members of society in the past, women, and can be taken away, felons.


Voted Other - Increase the voting age to 21 - as well as the age limit to serve in the military. IDC if every 16 y/o is "sometimes pretty bright and are often inquisitive and interested in the political process" - they are children who do not have life experience to pull from in making policy decisions. I served with Marine that were great people, but still had the mindset and maturity of kids at 18, 19, and 20. The ones in this age group were constantly the ones with issues (getting into bad financial contracts, making stupid life decisions with sex/relationships, irresponsible with drinking). I sure as shit wouldn't want some 16 y/o who has never had to work, pay bills, or support themselves to vote on issues that concerned adults and our lively-hood. Book smarts theory and rubber meets the road real world experience seldom are the same.

I wholly agree...while I recognize potential in these kids, I still don't think you're mature enough to make decisions that affect everybody or even themselves long-term.


Raising the voting age to 25

The human brain matures around 25 like any car insurance rep can tell you


Our Society seems hell bent on raising the age of “majority” on most fronts ... no drinking until 21, can stay on parents’ insurance until 26, several other things, have to be 18 to be tried as an “adult” ...

For the Left to suddenly start pushing for voting at 16 ... is simply more hypocritical noise. In fact it makes no sense.

I agree with others here that a certificate should be required showing that the bearer has taken and passed a “Government and Civics” Class not to mention US Citizenship, Place of Residence and etc.

Lowering the voting age to 16 makes a great deal of sense if you are a Leftist bent on increasing your power and influence. 16 year old people are easily led by irrational promises. They will happily vote with their emotions.


I don't care if the voting age is lowered to 16 years old under one condtion. Each voter, no matter the age, should have to pass a basic civics test.

Who is teaching a rational version of Civics to the children today? I have a 16 year old and have seen nothing from her education that actually prepares kids to pass a test like that.

That would almost be acceptable. I really would love for that to be a requirement now!

@Psykozen I'm with you.

@Maliketh USCIS has some very good study guides and library references for the legal immigrant aliens who seek to become citizens after completing their required years of satisfactory legal residence alien status.

I have used them to help a legal alien study for about a year and I learned more about our government than I had ever learned from other sources (and I have a master’s degree in military arts and science that covered a lot about our government). By the way that person has been an amazing American Citizen for 25 years after that person (who came to the US with a BS In Medical Technology) had successfully completed 7 or 8 years as a legal resident alien. (Takes the right /responsibility to vote seriously and studies the issues and candidate and so do I

Since you asked ... that’s a good source.


I don't believe that those who are proposing lowering the voting age are considering the same pros and cons as are being discussed here. An invasion of "children" have been dispersed to the sanctuary friendly states, which already have the highest population numbers. Some states are providing the privledge of voting to illegal immigrants. The same are promoting a popular vote and discontinuation of the electoral college. This concentrated power would shift the balance to the far left, and the fundamental transformation of America will be realized.


The last thing I would want is a 16 year old ME voting for president. Like most 16 year olds today, I would definitely vote for anyone offering "free everything". I know better now...


Thank you. I have arrived at the same conclusion, especially after seeing how manipulated children are in my community by adult ideologues whose understanding of their jobs as educators highlights how intellectually immature one can remain well into adulthood.

Ironically, the political indoctrination in my community's schools has centered on the Second Amendment, which is an issue on which the ideologues are perfectly content to pronounce everyone not-old-enough to make an informed decision upon.

But, as you point out, voting age arguments are tied to arguments about the age at which one is old enough to exercise lethal judgment. One can't have one without the other.

If one is old enough and responsible enough to vote and to be drafted, one is old enough and responsible enough to own a firearm.

I will concede to the ideologues that 16-year-olds are not old enough and responsible enough to own firearms or serve in the military.

Let's end the hypocrisy and raise it all to 21.

Actually before the 80s and 90s, a lot of young boys (and probably a few girls) owned a gun, especially if they grew up in the country. Boys would often go hunting with their dads. What was that old movie where the kid wanted a rifle for Christmas?

We used to have a Gun Club in high school if you recall? My opinion is no one is old enough to serve in the military, but that's because of who controls the military. No one is smart enough to vote, either, so I advise creating a reading list of books and an exam before being allowed to vote.

@Kay_Shoemaker A Christmas Story! ("No! You'll put yer eye out!) 😉

@Kay_Shoemaker Although Chrismas Story was just a BB gun. And he did shoot his glasses out.

Got my first rifle on my 12th birthday, 45 years later, I have still only fired it a few times at a target. I didn’t join the military (where I fired lots of guns of all sorts along with many other lethal weapons frequently) until I was 24 (retired from it in my 50s, but would not say I was a good voter until my late 20s or early 30s (I fell for the fear mongering in college that pushed the propaganda that if we elected Reagan we would immediately enter WWIII; as it turned out he was responsible for ending the Cold War about the time I was done guarding the Fulda Gap against the Russian (USSR) invasion).

I agree that 21 is young enough for both draft and voting rights. Most Americans don’t vote anyway and most who do only vote for name recognition. Ironically, the best prepared people to vote are those immigrant citizens that are proud to be an American. They had to study for years about our government, our history, our culture, etc and many took the test more than once after their required years as a legal resident paying for every test, their annual meetings with INS (CIS) and any other government mandated paperwork. Many served in our military with the promise that after they served their time they would have the privilege of taking a test to ensure they had learned all an American citizen should know.

After helping one study for the test for over a year and going through 2 attempts before getting almost a perfect score, I can now state with confidence that I know more about being a “good citizen” and am more prepared to vote in any election than 90% of the non-naturalized citizens that have a right to vote.

The voting age is only an issue for those who want more votes to steal. They have no problem buying the votes (or the absentee votes they send for in the name of the non-voting voters). Most voting eligible Americans don’t vote anyway.


Voting should require passing a civics test after age 21.


Most people are willing to admit that they were not mature enough to vote at 16

Two weeks ago I would have agreed. But the punditry now is really pushing for the drop in voting age.


I remember when I was 16 . Like my peers , I didn't know anything until an authority figure told me what I know . I staggered through life , trying to get my feet on the ground , after high school . Eventually I unlearned the lies I was taught in school . If I knew then , what I know now , I could have gotten permanently expelled . That would have avoided a lot of grief . I was never intended to be a corporate widget .


I probably agree with increasing the voting age to 21 but would add to the condition of military service and alternative of paying a certain amount in income taxes. I think if someone is paying taxes (and not just getting it refunded), then they should probably get a vote.


Knowledge isn't what policy is based on. Children are more emotional, erratic, and impulsive. Experience and knowing human tendencies is important. Lowering the age could also have an adverse affect on both parties and the marketing towards them would be ridiculous. They're in high school, they should be focused on that. And like you said, the brain isn't even all the way formed yet. No way.


As a believer in freedom and liberty, I think we need more freedom, not less of it. 25 is too extreme. 21 is better, but you can get the death penalty at 18, you are no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. Trust me, i know that 18 and 19 year olds that are voting, 90% of them would vote for the exact opposite of what i support. I understand that, but it is the principle that matters to me. Just like free speech, gun rights, or any other right. Are we also going to raise the age of free speech to 25? just seems like a dangerous road to go down. Also, requiring a test, I'm pretty sure that has been tried, to keep black people from voting during Jim Crow. Restricting people's rights is the wrong approach in my opinion.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I agree that testing is out of the question, though I understand where that perspective is coming from. So many people are manipulated easily who really don't know or understand what they are supporting with their votes. But you are right that testing has been used as an impediment before and is also something that could be easily abused too disenfranchise people.

As for raising the age to 25, it's probably a good idea, but will never happen. Anything that people have been legally given can never be taken from them. For that reason I doubt the voting age will ever be raised at all. But there are people seriously discussing lowering it, and I find the prospect of 16 year old kids determining how our country is run a little bit unsettling. The question I keep asking myself is why people like Pelosi are even discussing this as an option. And why when she talked about the 16 year old vote did she use the word capture as the applicable verb? Sounds kind of like she wants to lure them in with something and then keep him trapped in a voting pattern.

If you watch her body language when she's making her comments about the 16 year old vote and she get to the word "capture" she makes a gripping or clenching motion with her hand. Really creeps me out. I have seen too many government-funded traps that keep people dependent and voting away their freedom and by extension mine.

@Mrs_SO I agree 16 is too low. and yes exactly, she knows most teens are liberal. and its all about power to them they want to keep power by any means possible

You can get life at 12...still don't know shit...and there it is painfully obvious


If u are an adult u should have the right to vote. That age is 18 so unless we change everything to line up with being underage until 21 it should not go up. I see no reason to lower or raise it myself.

We give people enough reason to stay children forever. Raising the age would just be another life experience they are not allowed to take part in -- even though they are of age for felony arrest, consent, and independence.


Perhaps voting should only be allowed for those who pay taxes, if you don't contribute, you do not earn right to say how it's spent

How would u o about implementing that? Check every person that shows up with the IRS? Still would have issues doing that because not all people pay taxes on payroll and instead pay all of it at the end of the year.

@george good point, I'm not sure, I work but do not file taxes, I do have an active bank account both checking and savings

That idea sounds great... of course until there is a economic collapse and a large number of angry unemployed people that now cannot fix the issue with their vote anymore.


I remember me at 16 and my like aged friends OH DEAR GOD no!!!!!! So many lessons to be learned wisdom must be aquired. In fact the ages should be upped.


Hell I have realized how uneducated I was in politics, I got all my facts from pictures on Instagram now I realize it's important to read stuff and look up facts and opinions from both sides of the spectrum to come to a factual conclusion based on real evidence that has not been tampered or altered to fit a political agenda. I'm 20 years old. I would say raise it but that's not going to happen so it should just stay where it is.


18 year olds are dumb as fuck, its why the draft should include them. If you serve you should get to drink and vote, otherwise shut the fuck up until you are 21. Watch 30 seconds of any interview with a college kid and tell me we should let them decide where to eat lunch?


Most 16 YEAR olds can drive and get their licenses. Putting a 16 year old in a 2,000 pound missle is absolutely crazy. I sure as hell don't want them making decisions on which way this country should go.


Drinking ages are determined by the states. Thanks to Elizabeth Dole and MADD, they got the Fed to put stipulations on highway funding. If a state didn't have a 21 drinking age, they wouldn't receive Federal highway funding.

I tended bar when the drinking age was 18. Holy Mother of God! 95% of all the problems in the bar were caused by the under 21 crowd.


The voting age should be twenty-one across the board regardless if you are serving in the Military or not. If you can legally consume alcohol by that age, same should go where voting is concerned.

Thanks for your comment. What would you say to people suggesting that we lower the drinking age to match the voting age?

@Mrs_SO I'd tell them doing so would be a bad idea.


Anyone that passes a "civics" class that explains what government is, how it works, how it came to be along with a "logic" class that explains logic fallacies. Once a person understand the responsibility of voting and thinking, they should be able to participate. I was in my early 40's before I qualified.


How about moving Election day to April 15th and give everybody the day off (National Holiday). Government would have to send out a letter to show where all our tax dollars is going to 2 weeks prior so it is fresh in everybody who cares mind.

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