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Should the voting age be 16? Show more Show less

Traditionally, the legal age for voting is 18. However, as more and more teenagers become politically active, calls have increased for the voting age to decrease to 16 so that older teenagers can vote. Should 16- and 17-year-olds be allowed to have their voice heard politically? Or are they simply not mature enough?

Yes, the age should be lowered Show more Show less

We should move the legal voting age to 16.
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We should start incorporating politics as early as possible

Lowering the voting age increases voter turnout and instills habits for young voters.
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Context

The overall turnout of voters is a huge issue for many elections. In America's last presidential election, for instance, only 58.1% of the voting population cast their ballot.[1] By incorporating young people, we can increase voter turnout and instill voting skills that will continue into the rest of their lives.

The Argument

Voting turnouts are often lacking. A simple solution to this problem is to increase the pool of voters. By allowing teenagers to vote earlier, the turnout will increase and the results will likely become more accurate. On top of this logic, the introduction of the ability to vote early on instills a sense of responsibility within young voters. This may increase the number of active voters in the future, creating a higher percentage of the population participating in elections and other instances involving society as a whole. The increase of turnout PLUS the potential increase for the future is a critical reason to lower the voting age requirement.

Counter arguments

How do we know that these young people would even turn up to vote? The ratio of people who vote may just become smaller, and the number of votes wasted would increase. Additionally, we know that these teens are not as capable of getting to polls as their fellow voters. There is no guarantee.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Voting turnouts are often low. [P2] Teens would add to the numbers and instill political engagement. [P3] The turnout would continue to increase.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Voting turnouts vary from year to year. [P2] We don't know that young people would even show up. [P3] This could also increase the lack of voters.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/post-election-2016/voter-turnout

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This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 11:50 UTC