Face Off: Voting age should not be lowered to 16

Face Off: Voting age should not be lowered to 16

Jameson Browne, Reporter

The United States Constitution should not be amended to give 16-year-olds the right to vote. Making this change would add more pressure on young people and many of their political ideas  simply would be influenced by their household, resulting in no major differences in the outcome of elections, even those that are close.  

Giving 16-year-olds the ability to vote would also give political campaigns the ability to target and contact teenagers in order to encourage them to vote for their candidate. These extra advertisements could bother these younger kids who are in the midst of focusing on high school and what the next stage in their lives will entail.  

Another reason 16-year-olds should not be able to vote is because their decisions would be greatly influenced by the households in which they live. 

Parents may often try to force their political views on their children, especially at this younger age. This results in 16-year-olds not always having their own unique views and ideas on who they should vote for. Influencing potential voters in this way would change the outcomes of elections in ways that might not be fair if some of these kids do not even know what they are voting for.

 Additionally, many young people may feel that they do not know enough to vote or they are just too lazy to vote in the first place. And it is worth pointing out that Indiana doesn’t make it particularly to easy to vote. For young people used to doing everything on their phone, driving to a polling place on Election Day may not be an activity that many of these potential new voters would do. 

Given the opportunity to vote, many 16-year-olds would not take this chance simply because they are not sure what they are voting for. So what would be the point in giving them this opportunity if not all of them would take advantage of it? 

At this age, it would be very common for these kids to not to take the time to register or vote purely because of their disinterest. They will not be motivated enough to spend time on this opportunity and might feel like their vote does not make a difference. 

Only 40 percent of citizens ages 18 to 24 took the time to register and vote in 2016, so what can we expect from 16-year-olds? More maturity and development of their own ideas is needed for voters, especially because these elections decide the future of our country. 

As they grow older, these kids will be given the time and resources to develop their own ideas that will allow them to make a decision based off of what they think is right, not what their parents or political campaigns are encouraging them to do.

Finally, a 16-year-old is not a legal adult. He or she cannot sign a contract or own property. Voting is a right and responsibility carried out by adults. Legally, a 16-year-old is not an adult so therefore should not have the right to cast a ballot in any state, local or federal election. 

Let high school juniors worry about who they are taking to the prom, not for whom they are casting a vote for President of the United States, United States Senator or even member of the City Council.