Should Sixteen Year Olds Be Allowed To Vote?
October 16, 2016
Filed under News
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Election day is quickly approaching, as it brings us to the end of a very, very strange election year. A multitude of people have disclosed their opinion on the election, many of which are young people of the tender age of sixteen. Which brings up the question – should these younger people be allowed to vote?
Green Mountain’s students feel the answer is a no.
“Kids at my age, some of them don’t even know how to do laundry, so should we be able to vote for who is going to be president of the United States?” asks Shelbey Gnagy, a senior at Green Mountain High School. “We can’t make choices for ourselves at this age.” Gnagy goes on to saw while some sixteen year olds are capable of handling such responsibilities it could be really dangerous when considering that most young people don’t make the most intelligent decisions.
Suzy Walsh, a junior, says, “I think they don’t have the capability to properly educate themselves on the issues.” Walsh states that while young people are more informed than in the past, she still can’t trust people her age and their to educate themselves on the topics that often grip our nation.
Like Walsh said, accessibility to media has certainly improved these past few years, with the introduction of the Internet into the mainstream there putting a powerhouse of information at the tips of the typical American teenager’s finger. At both sides of the argument, most everyone can agree – the average person has more access to information than ever before.
However, Mayor Adam Paul of Lakewood believes this to be a double-edged sword. “When I was in high school there were two news sources, the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.” Now, he claims, with a hundred different news sources it can be difficult to sort out the truth and lies.
However, despite it all – there are some that still believe sixteen year olds should have the vote. Mayor Paul is one of those people.
“What’s going on in your world affects you, so in lowering it I don’t see a problem,” says the mayor. “I know one argument is that you don’t pay taxes but you certainly could if you had a job.”
“There are sixteen year olds that are very high level thinkers and they think about the topics,” says Anna Fryer – a social studies teacher at GMHS. Since the majority of people that don’t vote are eighteen to twenty-five year olds, Fryer postulates that by adding sixteen year olds into the mix more of these younger people will vote earlier.
However, Fryer isn’t too optimistic on the issue, saying that taking current voter stats into account most sixteen year olds wouldn’t even show up to the polls.
Nevertheless, Paul asserts, “There’s a conscience of caring that is much more conducive to your group.”
Young people may vote the least out of their demographic but according to Fryer there are still students that want to take part in the political process. What better way to do that than by including these students in the vote?