Why Have An Age Barrier To Voting?

What is the idea behind having a voting age?  Why can’t anyone who can read or write, vote in elections?  Shouldn’t the young also have a say on who is to make the rules they are to live by and their families are to live by? The rules that will affect their lives later on.  Some people will think it ridiculous that a six year old should be able to vote, but why?  Because they are too young?  By who’s designation? Shouldn’t we be teaching children how to become independent adults?  Being young and part of the system allows them to practice.  And why should they not have a say in the political system anyway?    

Comments | 5

  • I vote yes

    My earliest recollections of an election was McGovern v. Nixon, so that must have been about 2nd or 3rd grade. I recall being strong McGovern supporter, and argued with friends at the time. “Nixon was going to make us go to school all year round!” I thought.

    So, kid vote #1: McGovern, over education issues.

    Next up was Ford-Carter, which would have been about 6th grade or so. I don’t recall having strong feelings on this one, but probably preferred Carter. I had other more pressing issues at the time.

    Kid vote # 2: Sat out the election, or voted Carter for no really good reason.

    Next on the list was Reagan- Carter. I’m in 10th or 11th grade by now and know that Reagan is a fake. I prefer Bush in the primaries, as his time at the CIA seems more relevant than Reagan’s movie career. Reagan wants wars and to bring back the draft and I’m draft age. No thank you.

    If I recall correctly, I got introduced to 3rd parties about this time, with Anderson. And liked Kennedy until Carter beat him in the primary.

    Kid vote #3: Carter, as an anti-Reagan vote.

    Then I got to vote for real.

    I kind of like the idea of letting kids vote. I know kids that are smarter and more thoughtful than some adults. I also know some very silly kids. What if we let them vote with a “junior vote” that get’s weighted into the overall results?

    The arguments for adults-only voting are usually that kids aren’t smart enough yet, they don’t know the impact of their decisions, they don’t understand politics or world affairs, they don’t understand the economy, they get distracted by unimportant issues, and so on… this all applies to at least a few of the candidates running in the last 10 months.

  • The age of emancipation

    The idea of letting six year olds vote is interesting. To gain public approval to lower the voting ago, 16 is more practical. In many states the age of emancipation is sixteen. Also 16 and 17 year olds are typically still at home as opposed to 18 through 20 year olds are often in a state of flux, leaving home, going off to college and removed from local political issues.

    If you look at the mess so-called ‘adults’ have got us in, we should cap the voting age at 30.

    • Don't you mean...

      “To gain public approval to lower the voting age”

      don’t you mean

      “To gain approval of older people to lower the voting age” : )

      I bet kids approve already, but they can’t vote on it.

      • Even better... :)

        “To gain approval of eligible voters to lower the voting age”
        Thanks for calling attention to that.

        (I have to keep reminding myself nonvoters (of any age) don’t count.) 🙂

  • Mock Elections in School

    I remember having mock elections in school, starting in 6th grade with Nixon vs McGovern. Social Studies class required us to keep up with current events in the newspaper and to support our points during class discusions. Some mature students took it very seriously and had a good handle on the political concepts. Some degenerated into name-calling snits (just like some current candidates). Some couldn’t care less.

    Now I have a college age offspring who is very interested, knows about all the candidates and was excited/proud to register and vote; and a college age step-offspring who has absolutely no interest, hates it when the adults have the news on tv instead of escapism, hasn’t registered to vote, and doesn’t want to.

Leave a Reply