The New York Times reported about a national campaign being launched Wednesday called VOTE16USA, which aims to lower the voting age to 16 from 18 as a way to boost civic engagement among young people and increase voter turnout.
The article mentions a local effort by the Richmond Youth Council to lower the voting age to 16. Joseph Jackson, the council’s chairperson, says he’s been crafting a bill. Since teenagers can drive, work, pay taxes and be tried as an adult for some offenses, they should be able to vote, Jackson told the Times.
“No taxation without representation is what comes to mind,” Jackson said.
Opponents of lowering the voting age say teenagers cannot make informed decisions at age 16 and can be manipulated into voting toward liberal causes, partly given the entertainment industry’s left-leaning views.
This isn’t the first push to lower the age. In 1971, the 26th Amendment was passed that lowered the age from 21 to 18. And in 2013, Tokoma Park in Maryland lowered voting age to 16 for municipal contests, the Times reported.