For the past thirty years, the voting age in the United States has been 18. During the Vietnam War, it seemed to many people that people who were old enough to fight were old enough to vote, so the age was lowered from 21 to 18. Unfortunately, many young people do not take advantage of their right to participate in choosing our leaders. Turnout is lower in the 18 to 24 year age group than in others. Is the solution making the voting age even lower? Some states already allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections, although few of these teenager choose to do so. Could high school students be encouraged to vote more often if the importance of voting was stressed in school? Or are 16-year-olds inherently too immature to make practical decisions about government? There are many different opinions, both among the teenagers and older adults, but it’s an issue worth discussing. The League’s mandate is to encourage more people to vote. Should that be extended by giving the franchise to a new age group? Perhaps it is time to study the possibility.
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