CITIZEN VOICES® Allow 16-year-olds to vote?
May 29, 2018
The 26th Amendment says that states cannot set a voting age higher than 18, though they can set a lower voting age. Supporters of lowering it say young people are becoming more involved in politics and are anxious to help choose candidates who reflect their values. Others claim 16-year-olds lack the maturity to understand the consequences of their actions and are too easily swayed by others’ opinions.
“Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote in NH in the 2020 elections?”
Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page May 15, 2018
What Participants Said
No: 167 citizens were opposed to allowing 16-year-olds to vote.
- “There is no rational person who thinks this is a good idea. The only people who think this is a good idea are the ones who want to exploit children for their votes.”
- “Sometimes I think that even 18 years old is not mature enough to vote, but definitely not 16.”
- “They are not old enough to drink, enter the armed forces or enter a movie that is rated NC17. So why would you allow them to vote?”
Yes: 8 citizens were in favor of allowing 16-year-olds to vote.
- “They are our future. We should welcome their civic engagement, not fear it.”
- “I see lots of 16 year olds working and being productive and I support the move.”
- “We have heaped debt and ill will on their shoulders. Who are we to say they cannot vote?”
Other: 18 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included questions around civic education:
- “There is a huge percentage - guess 60% - of adults who do not have enough knowledge to really know how our government works.”
- “Pass a Civics exam or no dice.”
- “Many families hardly see each other outside a mad dash to get to work and school on time in the morning and a couple homework and task filled hours in the evenings. Kids these days probably see their teachers more than their parents.”
*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.