While young people represent the least reliable voting demographic by age in the United States, 18 to 24-year-olds have a significant stake in both local and national elections. Youth voters will experience the long-term effects of policy, so increasing youth voter turnout should be a top priority for our government.
One idea to increase voter participation is gaining traction: Let 16- and 17-year-olds vote in city elections. The idea is more limited than proposals Congress debated earlier this year to lower the national voting age for federal elections.
Almost a half-century after the U.S. lowered the voting age to 18 amid the war in Vietnam, young activists are pushing for the franchise to be expanded yet again — this time as low as 16 years old.
Young people are doing the work to address political issues that directly affect their health, their safety, and their future. They can speak to international bodies, they can lobby politicians, they can march, they can organize.