Campaign to Lower Voting Age to 16 Ignites a Debate
Another important step towards lowering the age of consent for progressive sexual perverts and bolstering the ranks of Low-Fo Voters.
NYT - Turning 16, for many teenagers, means finally driving a car without supervision or starting the college search. Now, a new campaign is hoping to add the ability to vote in local elections to the milestones of that age.
The campaign, called Vote16USA, which will be announced on Wednesday, aims to lower the voting age to 16 from 18 to spur civic engagement by younger Americans. But the push, by a nonpartisan group based in New York called Generation Citizen, which seeks to promote youth participation in politics, is igniting a debate about voter competency, adolescent decision making and whether allowing younger people to vote is the best way to politically engage teenagers.
Opponents say that teenagers are not mature enough to vote at 16, that they will not make informed decisions and that Vote16USA is a partisan push to get more liberals on voter rolls. Advocates, however, argue that lowering the voting age would increase turnout, allow teenagers to weigh in on issues that directly affect them and push schools to improve civic education.
“Given the general malaise that faces this country’s political process right now, this is a way to get young people actually excited,” said Scott Warren, executive director of Generation Citizen.
Generation Citizen hopes to raise $1 million in 2016 to finance its efforts. The group has already received $230,000, Mr. Warren said, adding that none of the money came from politicians or partisan organizations.
But some leading Democrats, most notably Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, have supported such changes, spurring partisan suspicions about the effort. In a speech this year before a meeting aimed at bringing young leaders and progressive organizations together, Ms. Pelosi said she was “all for” lowering the voting age to 16 or 17 “because when kids are in school, they’re so interested, they’re so engaged.”
Mark Tapson, the editor in chief of Truth Revolt, a conservative website, said that Ms. Pelosi was trying to “rope in young voters” who may be more inclined to vote with popular culture idols, who tend to be liberal.
“When they see, for example, that Barack Obama slow jams with Jimmy Fallon or hangs with Jay Z and Beyoncé, many 16-year-olds feel a connection with him not because of his policies necessarily but because that makes him cool.”