Should we Lower the Minimum Voting Age?

Lowering the Bar, Raising the Possibilities

Glen Hanton, Junior Writer

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Long has the restricted voting age fallen upon 18. But young voices of change have been heard preaching their opinion of age, maturity and suffrage. This issue has become more mainstream locally, as of late with Michigan elections fast approaching. With this, a question permeates: will the young activists’ voices gain hold on the populous of the United States or fall on deaf ears?

The most notable of these young activists is the New York Times opinion piece writer, 14 year old Kathryn Zaia. Her argument paved the way for others to rally behind the cause of young suffrage. In her argumentative essay, Zaia brought up examples of teen independence that she believes proves teen maturity.

I was…shocked after attending the “March for Our Lives” on March 24th. Organized by high school students, the strength and courage that all the young speakers possessed were truly inspiring,” Zaia wrote in her “The Case for Lowering the Voting Age”.

“If high school students can organize a worldwide march in the face of an issue as difficult as gun violence, they are more than capable of voting.” Zaia said later in the article.

Activists like Zaia mostly find support in people of their age group, that being those of the mid and late teens. Are HF2 students among the ranks of these suffrage advocators?

“There’s too many uneducated teens, so I don’t think we’re educated enough to make decisions that change our futures,” senior Griffin Nicholas said.

“I do think that teens should be able to vote in local elections, because they’re not as important and apply to us directly,” senior Griffin Nicholas went on to say.

In the grand scheme of things, however, the ability to permit the right to vote to younger Americans lays in the hands of adults. The topic has a controversial air, even when discussing the topic amongst the crowds of teens the plan wishes to benefit. The local adult response is mixed and most youth are pro voting.

The activists’ pleas remain unattended to as more than just our local Michigan election dates lurches nearer. As election days pass, the question remains when or if the age bar will ever be lowered to allow a flood of new possibilities.