15 December 2012
Voting Age: Should it be reduced?
The very idea of America is freedom and opportunity for everybody. Amongst these is the most valued legal right within a democracy: the right to vote. However, an unfortunate reality is that the majority of the people ages 16-17 cannot ("Age and Sex Composition in the United States: 2011"). With the ever falling number of participants in political votes due to the event of the generation of the baby boomers dying out, and the lack of political interest in the younger age groups (18-29). The legal voting age should be reduced to16 years of age, nationwide and it should be adopted amongst the amendments. The Electoral Commission’s inquiry into the voting age was motivated in part by its concern with declining participation rates in the UK elections and in particular, the low participation of young people in politics. Although this isn’t to be believed to be a pivotal reason for changing the voting age, if participation rates were to go up as a result, this would count in favor of lowering it. Granting sixteen and seventeen-year olds were to exercise their right extended to them at low rates then this is a reason—though again not a irrefutable reason—not to lower the voting age (Chan, and Clayton 535). According to Curtis Gans, the director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, “The voting age was set at 18 because that's the age at which people could be drafted and die for their country. They don't have enough life experience or history and don't know the issues in enough detail” (Weiser par. 26). There are other ways in which to get life experience that don’t involve going to war. Does that make a person who has asthma and mentally handicapped, and therefore unable to participate in the war effort even if they desired to do so, inexperienced and unknowledgeable about the issue in enough detail to satisfy Mr. Gans? The real question is who has...