Voting age should not be lowered to 16

Staff Editorial

Eighteen is an age of independence. Eighteen year olds can serve on a jury, marry, and have a voice, however small, in the government and future of the nation.

Recently, 16 and 17 year olds have also been advocating for the right to vote.

According to The Sacramento Bee, a potential addition to California’s constitution “would allow 16 and 17 yea olds to cast ballots exclusively in school district and community college board elections.”

While this is an argument school districts need to determine on their own, the context can be changed to more important decisions such as presidential elections.

Can older teenagers possibly be entrusted to determine the future of a nation by voting for president and other government offices?

The Californian votes “nay.”

Presidential candidates are at least 35 years of age.

During debates, they tower on a stage to express their ideologies and plans to the public.

Whether good or bad, 16 and 17 year olds can easily be swayed by the romanticizing of abstract policies or plans.

Candidates can manipulate their arguments to specifically appease their younger audiences.

By analyzing algorithms and what words or ideas their young audiences will best respond to, candidates can tailor their campaign to draw in the young, gullible or naive.

Thus, candidates can blind 16 and 17 year olds with the idea that this person can change the face of America, that America will not just be made great, but the best.

There are two words for this: false advertising.

Sixteen year olds are generally not as well informed about politics as they need to be to vote intelligently.

Occasionally there is the imposing conservative or extreme liberal but holistically, 16 year olds live in a bubble where their voice is most needed to decide homecoming king and queen rather than the leader of the free world.

A major obstacle for validating 16-year-old voters is the fear of giving a voice to a seemingly incompetent or inexperienced age group who are seen as unenlightened in the world of politics.

It is not the stigma of political unenlightenment that bars 16 and 17 year olds from voting, but the idea that a government for the people and by the people is made of adults.

Maturity, awareness, and decisiveness are qualities of an adult voter.

Since these are rare to consistently find in a 16-18 age group, it is best for the overall well being of a nation that the voter age remains 18.