There is a renewed conversation happening around the world about whether or not to lower the voting age. On one side of the argument, some people say that 16 and 17 year olds are not ready to vote responsibly and should continue to wait until they are older. On the other side, there are those who argue that if democracy is truly about giving people a voice, then we should give all citizens – regardless of their age – an opportunity to have their say in who represents them. So, what are the pros and cons of lowering the voting age? Let’s take a closer look.
Pros of lowering the voting age
- More Informed Decisions
One of the primary benefits of lowering the voting age is that it would allow young people to make more informed decisions about the issues that affect their lives. Young people are often more engaged with the world around them than older adults and are thus more likely to be up-to-date on the latest news and developments. Additionally, young people are often more idealistic and open-minded than older adults, which could lead to more progressive policies being enacted.
- Greater participation in the political process
Lowering the voting age would also lead to greater participation in the political process. Currently, voter turnout rates among young people are relatively low, due in part to the fact that many feel like their voices are not being heard. If the voting age were lowered, it is likely that more young people would register to vote and participate in elections, which could lead to a more representative government.
- More diverse perspectives
Another benefit of lowering the voting age is that it would add more diverse perspectives to the political process. Young people come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of experiences, which can offer valuable insights into the issues facing our country. Additionally, young people are often more open-minded than older adults and are thus more likely to support policies that are beneficial for all Americans, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status.
- Improved decision-making
Lowering the voting age would also improve decision-making within our government. Currently, many important decisions are made by older adults who may not be as attuned to the needs of younger generations. If more young people were involved in the political process, it is likely that policies would be enacted that better reflect the needs and values of all Americans.
- Greater investment in our future
Lowering the voting age would lead to greater investment in our future. Currently, many young people feel like their voices are not being heard and as a result, they do not feel motivated to participate in the political process. However, if young people were given a say in how our country is run, it is likely that they would be more invested in its future and would be more likely to vote and participate in other forms of civic engagement
- More Engaged Citizens
Lowering the voting age would also lead to more engaged citizens overall. When young people are given the opportunity to participate in the political process, they are more likely to become involved in other aspects of civic life as well. For example, young people who vote are also more likely to volunteer, donate to charity, and participate in community service.
- Improved Turnout Rates
Finally, lowering the voting age would improve turnout rates in elections. Turnout rates have been declining for years, and one of the main reasons for this is that younger adults are less likely to vote than older adults. If the voting age was lowered, however, it is likely that more young people would head to the polls on election day, which would ultimately lead to a higher overall turnout rate.
Cons of lowering the voting age
- People aged 18-24 are less likely to vote
One of the primary cons of lowering the voting age is that people aged 18-24 are less likely to vote than older age groups. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 38% of people aged 18-24 voted in the 2016 presidential election, compared to 60% of those aged 45 and over. This lower turnout among young people could have a negative impact on election results if the voting age is lowered.
- People aged 18-24 are more likely to be uninformed about politics
Another con of lowering the voting age is that people aged 18-24 are more likely to be uninformed about politics than older age groups. A study by the Pew Research Center found that only 26% of people aged 18-29 say they follow political news very closely, compared to 40% of those aged 30 and over. This lack of knowledge about politics could lead to young people making poor choices when they do vote.
- The voting age has been 21 for many years
The voting age in the United States has been 21 for many years, and there is no reason to believe that it should be lowered now. The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, was passed in 1971 in response to the Vietnam War. At that time, there was a strong belief that if young men were old enough to fight and die for their country, they should also be old enough to vote. However, this is no longer a relevant argument, as the military draft has not been used since 1973.
- Lowering the voting age could lead to voter fraud
Another con of lowering the voting age is that it could lead to increased instances of voter fraud. Voter fraud is a serious problem in the United States, and lowering the voting age would make it easier for criminals to exploit young voters who may not be aware of how to protect their personal information. In addition, younger voters may be more easily swayed by false or misleading information than older voters
Pros and cons of lowering the voting age summary
That’s all for today. We hope this article has given you a good overview of the pros and cons of lowering the voting age. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for reading!