Archive for Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Voting age

December 7, 2004


To the editor:

In light of our recent elections, I have to wonder, would the teenage vote have made a difference? Could it have changed the result of the elections? I believe that it would have, and that the voting age should be lowered to 16.

At age 16, many teenagers have jobs. Their salaries are then taxed by the federal government. Why can they not elect the governmental officials who will decide what that tax will be?

The government trusts 16-year-olds to drive a 3,000-pound automobile, yet they aren't allowed to mark a ballot to decide who will represent them in government.

Some will argue that 16-year-olds aren't educated enough to vote. However, due to their current and recent enrollment in history, government and politics, aren't they better informed than many adults who long ago forgot their civics lessons? Wouldn't the school years be a good time to learn the lesson of real, participatory citizenship through the voting process? In this last election I can't tell you how many campaigns I saw trying to get people to vote. Within the ranks of the 16- and 17-year-olds are many who are eager to cast their first ballots.

Orange bracelets floated around Free State High School this fall. They read "My Vote Counts." Unfortunately for most of the student body, they had to wear them hypothetically speaking. This should be changed, to make their vote really count.

Sally Konzem,


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