Democratic Congresswoman Moves to Lower Voting Age to 16 ― Not Everyone Thinks That’s a Great Idea

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) proposed an amendment that would lower the legal voting age in federal elections from 18 years old to 16 years old.

Pressley proposed the amendment to a massive legislation package dealing with election reforms titled HR 1. While the focus of the bill is on campaign finance, Pressley noted that she believes these reforms would be strengthened by being more inclusive of young voters.

Watch the video below:

“My amendment to HR 1 strikes at one of the fundamental goals of this legislation by ensuring that those who have a stake in our democracy will also have a say in our democracy. By lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 years of age, my amendment will allow young people to have a say in our federal elections. To help shape and inform the policies that will set the course for the future. From gun violence to climate change, our young people are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action. They are at the forefront of social and legislative movements and have earned inclusion in our democracy.”

With some heavy references to the teens from the March for Our Lives, Pressley noted that even 16-year-olds who are not political activists can hold jobs and pay taxes.

“Beginning at the age of 16, young people are contributing to both the labor force and their local economies by paying income taxes, and yet they are deprived of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” Pressley said.

Pressley’s legislative co-sponsor, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), tweeted his support for the amendment, saying that young people deserve to cast their vote.

It should be noted that if 16-year-olds were suddenly able to vote, it could be a huge boost to Democratic vote counts, as young voters tend to vote against Republicans.

While she may have the support of a few of her fellow Democrats, she is getting mixed reactions elsewhere. Many people took to Twitter to explain why they think lowering the voting age is a bad idea:

Others pointed out the hypocrisy of the Democratic leadership team claiming freshman congressmen make continued gaffes because they are young when other members think 16-year-olds should be voting:

Although there hasn’t been a vote on Pressley’s amendment, American 16-year-olds are a long way from hitting the polls. HR 1 could skate through the House, but it is unlikely to receive a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.

What do you think?

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Chloe Rowles
Member

Ridiculous!: In most States you have to be 18 or 21 to buy a gun, alcohol, tobacco, get married without parental consent, and 17 to get an unrestricted driver’s license, and when I worked in high school we didn’t make enough to pay taxes and got it all back , so if they are paying taxes, they must be high school drop outs who are working fulltime. The democrats would have kids who aren’t out of high school yet (most are juniors), most likely haven’t even had a government course yet, VOTING?

Erin Young
Member

Children’s minds don’t fully mature until around 23. That’s an established scientific fact. Their center of reasoning is just imature, especially at 16, let alone 18. The ONLY reason Democrats are pushing this is because they desperately need to bolster their support base. Academia in this country is hopelessly biased to the left.Our children are indoctrinated to left wing rhetoric and propoganda. So most, if pushed and encouraged by unethical, liberal teachers, would vote for the left.

Ed
Member

I was an NCO in the military with almost 4 years in before I could legally have a beer. We’re too hung up on birthdays. It’s not as if we are tested on our qualifications or maturity before we cast our votes. Let them vote st 16. If you’ve got to fill out a tax return, you should be able to have some say in how that money is spent. Maybe it was better when we just let white, land-owning men go to the ballot.

James
Member

A lot of America’s kids have a “stake in our democracy”. Take for example, the 6 year old who is forced – by law – to attend school. I submit the voting age should be lowered to 6 and that they too would become eligible to join the military, work, pay taxes and defend their stake in democracy.

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