It is undeniable that the right to vote stand out among the most important human rights. It gives men and women the chance to speak their mind about the way they are governed and to ensure that the government listens to its people and fulfills the people’s needs, for fear of being thrown out if they are failed to do so. The right to vote allows citizens to take part in the operation of their government. The question is, at what age should a citizen start to vote? According to the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, the voting age is 18-year-olds. Interestingly, a large number of states such as Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, etc have let 17-year-olds vote in primaries and caucuses as long as they turn 18 years old on or before the general election (FairVote, 2017). In 2017, Texas state also started to do the same thing by proposing the H.
J.R 31 Bill. Lowering voting age to 17 years old or even younger age would motivate the youth to be more engaged in politics and influence government actions. Accordingly, for many good reasons, this proposal should be passed so that the youth become more politically active and improve our elections.
One the one hand, lowering the voting age will promote many more high school students to the voting process and encourage them to develop a new lifelong habit of voting in early life. According to a research conducted by Statistic Brain, there were over 200 million Americans eligible to vote; however, only a little more than half of them actually cast their vote. By lowering the voting age, more young voters can register to vote; therefore, the number of voter turnout will likely increase. Moreover, teenagers, especially high school students, enjoy trends; with the exponential growth of social media, voting and politics will become more popular among youngsters. Thus, certain economic and social issues related to students such as college tuition, bullying, student health, etc will be taken more seriously and handled promptly by virtue of their popularity among such a large number of young people. Furthermore, young generation has a hopeful view about the future and are not hesitant to speak their mind and they want to become the change they wish to see, so they will cast their vote based on their ideas that will better their life ultimately. However, without being eligible to vote, just because of their lack of age, teenagers can only ask their parents to vote for whomever they would want to see get into office.
Lowering the voting age will not only give teenagers a chance to express their opinions on politics but also encourage them to take action, to follow what they believe is true by casting their precious vote that decides the future of this country. On the other hand, many argue that the sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds shouldn’t vote because they are not mature enough and lack knowledge or wisdom to cast a wise vote. However, it is unfair to take away the voting rights from these youngsters because citizens between 16 and 18 years old are capable of taking adult responsibilities such as working without hours restrictions, paying tax, and are expected to obey the laws like an adult. Many of them are incredibly intelligent and have accomplishments that really change the world despite their age.
If someone is not yet mature by age 17 at the lastest, turning 18, at which they are legal to vote, will not magically make them more mature than prior to their eighteenth birthday. By the same token, it doesn’t make much sense when young people can only vote in the general election in November but they are not allowed to vote for their favored nominee in the primary election in March. A period of 8 months, from March to November, is not a long time to make much difference how knowledgable and wiser a voter becomes. Also, research has shown that 16-year-olds have the same civic knowledge as young adults whose age is between 18 and 25 (blah blah). Therefore, as long as schools and family do its job to educate teenagers about politics, age is not that much important factor when it comes to voting. In conclusion, the H.
J.R. 31 bill will have outstanding effects that benefit the younger generation if it is passed. Thus, if Texas legislature would like to see more young people voting, they should do as best as they can to include the young population.