Should the U.S. Lower the Voting Age?


Joseph Boyce, Reporter

The world recently has been fighting for change. This past year. The United States has had many conflicts on the national level. We try to resolve those issues through voting and implementing new laws to protect citizens, but one thing that doesn’t need to change is the voting age. Many people that are not of voting age have voiced their opinion on how officials should lower the age of voting, so they can have an impact on the nation. However , I believe that the voting age doesn’t need to change because at the age of 18, you are legally an adult and are more responsible to make these types of decisions that affect our nation.

As you get older, you gain more responsibilities and privileges. Once you reach 18, you are able to get married, buy a home, and vote. When you enter adulthood, you will need to understand the consequences of your actions. When people are younger, most don’t think before they do something.According to Greenblatt, “At 18 you’re generally old and mature enough to know the consequences of your decisions. … The first reason why the age of responsibility should be set at 18 is because 18 year olds are old and mature enough to know the consequences of their own decisions.”

In addition, the only reason the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 is because 18 year olds were being drafted to fight in the war as an adult but didn’t have the basic privileges of adults. “It took the Vietnam conflict, which brought so much change in this country. An article written by CBS8 said,” says Kennesaw State Political Science Professor Kerwin Swint. “It was deemed to be unfair that an 18-year-old could be drafted into service and die in battle, when they couldn’t even vote.”

Besides, there is no immediate need to change the age requirement from 18 to 16. Even though 16 year olds can do some things 18 year olds can do doesn’t mean they are as responsible and mature as 18 year olds. An editorial written by Schell-Olson says,“Just because 16-year olds do other tasks that 18-year-olds do doesn’t mean we should let them do even more. The whataboutism of “well if we can let them drive, we should let them vote” argument can be reversed. “Well if we can let them drive, we can let them carry a firearm.” “Well if we can let them drive, we can lower the draft age.”

Even though to some it might seem as a good idea, there are a lot of problems with the age limit lowering to 16. 16 year olds are still trying to complete high school. They are not educated enough to decide which presidential candidate to vote for. The people need to be informed and understand the importance of this right. An editorial written by Schell-Olson says,“16-year-olds aren’t well informed enough to make such decisions that can affect the rest of the country. I’m fully aware some 16-year-olds are well informed enough, however the average 16-year-old isn’t. According to Annenberg Public Policy Center, only 36% of all American adults can name the three branches of government. Most of these adults have presumably graduated high school. So now we are going to let high schoolers, the majority who are two years away from receiving the same education as these uninformed adults, have the right to vote?”

Many people are fighting to lower the voting age to 16, even though 18 year olds are more responsible and developed and there is no legitimate reason to change the voting age. If you were considering joining the “cause” of lowering the voting age, think twice about the maturity and education it takes to think critically about voting.