Young people in Massachusetts are working to advocate for 16-year-old voting in Massachusetts on multiple levels. Over the past two years, advocates in at least 8 municipalities have pushed for their local governments to approve of 16-year-old voting on the local level and send “home rule petitions” to the state legislature requesting the authority to implement the change.
Unfortunately, these petitions have not been acted on in the state legislature. In 2019, that led to a campaign for the EMPOWER Act, a bill in the state legislature that would make it easier for cities and towns to lower the voting age on the local level, without having to go through the home rule petition process. The bill gained strong support in the 2019-2020 legislative session, including 51 co-sponsors and an endorsement from the Boston Globe’s editorial board, but did not come up for a vote. Vote16 advocates and champions in the legislature are currently planning the strategy for the 2021-2022 session.
Interested in getting involved? Reach out to Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org.