Why the voting age should be lowered to 16

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/25/xvi.html


I remember being 16. I had no business near: cars, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, sharp objects, girls, flammable materials, electricity, or power tools.

Voting? God forbid 16 year old me be allowed anywhere near a voting booth.


personally i think the voting age should go back to 21


So 18, 19, 20 is mature enough to wield a rifle and drive a tank yet somehow not mature enough to cast a ballot ?


i thought there’s laws that don’t let incarcerated persons vote :wink:


18 is the least worst option I can think of. Either you’re an adult or you’re not. Voting, armed forces, booze should all travel together. Not old enough to drink, not old enough to serve, not old enough to vote.


Never be allowed. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly for decades that anyone under the age of 18 has limited constitutional rights, whether we’re talking civilly or criminally. Any state which did drop the age would be sledgehammered by the federal government.

Even if the courts didn’t strike it down, congress sure as hell would. All they would have to do is make funding the states rely on contingent on states having a voting age of 18. That type of blackmail is legal in the US. It’s the only reason states have the speed limits on highways that they do, and the only reason the drinking age is 21. Don’t do what the congress says, no federal highway funds. It’s something I am surprisingly shocked that the cretins in Washington haven’t done already to force compliance from the states on any number of things. Abortion, guns, prayer in school, pick your Republicunt ‘crusade’ of choice.

But back to the voting. It won’t happen, not in this country. The courts would strike it down hard. After all, minors are basically deemed to be near incompetents until age 18. That won’t change. The courts have too much invested in that world view.


There is one good reason: their shithead parents don’t deserve two votes.

I’m speaking, specifically, about the shithead parents, the ones who view their children as an extension of their own ego. Those people, they shouldn’t get two votes. Or twelve. Or whatever. I don’t know how virile they are. The point is, the purpose of voting is self determination.

And if we want to have a conversation about extending the right of self-determination to a lower age, I am open to that conversation. But to extend voting rights to individuals who are, more or less, dependent upon others for room, board, and a continued existence? Well, I’d be worried is all.

Roughly twenty years ago, I thought ASFAR (Americans for a society free from age restrictions) had some good ideas. And some of those ideas were good. I think they failed in regard to protecting the youth from the whims of their seniors (because they wanted to remove any “age of consent” laws, and… well… no. Let’s just not.).


Keep in mind that a lot of people just want to make 16-year-olds legal adults so they can have sex with them without facing legal consequences.


Ross Perot, that is all.


not old enough to choose where to aim that rifle or point that tank. Infants in the infantry, from latin for : child.

edited to add: and they keep all the automatic weapons locked up around that trained population by default, because young men with automatic weapons will manage to get people killed - every time. The military did the math, they lock that stuff up around such a volatile aggressive population.


No one in their right mind would defend the former…

Every American 16-year-old enrolled in high-school has to learn civics, with extensive instruction on the more confusing aspects of the American electoral system, such as the Electoral College; they are also required to study current affairs

No, they most definitely do not. Maybe some do, but there’s no such thing as a standard curriculum in US high schools. I think we studied World History when I was 16, and there was no civics course offered at all.


Well, let me just say this — 16-year-old me whould have voted for Bush/Quayle.

Enough said.


Of course that used to be the argument against women voting – that you’d be giving married men two votes. As if women had no agency of their own.


I don’t know if 16 year old should vote, but I absolutely thing your vote should be weighted inversely to your age. 90 year olds shouldn’t have the same voting power as 20 year olds.

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I think we’d have to take the vote away from minorities and women before we got so regressive as to be ageist by decree. What’s the upshot?


First of all, Oregon v. Mitchell already says that this is up to the states. So, no, it wouldn’t be struck down by federal courts.

As to Congress employing financial “blackmail,” this has also been addressed in very specific terms by the Supreme Court. It’s called the conditional spending power, and the main case is South Dakota v. Dole. One of the restrictions on these conditional arrangements is that “the condition should relate ‘to the federal interest in particular national projects or programs.’” That means the Congress could probably make federal grants for election-related spending conditional on a particular voting age, but couldn’t restrict completely unrelated funding, like for highways.


You realize that this is the same argument that was made for denying the vote to women, right?


Old people don’t have much time left to be affected by the policies they help enact, but they often drive policy.