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Raise the voting age?

 
 
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2020 05:34 am
If the human brain doesn't fully develop until age 25, should the voting age be raised accordingly?
 
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2020 06:54 am
@FreedomEyeLove,
No. 18 should be the age majority for all things.
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2020 08:25 am
Back when the whiny brats from Parkland were demanding laws not allowing anyone under the age of 21 to buy guns with pistol grips, I took the position that the age to vote in a given state should be the same as the age to buy guns with pistol grips in that state.

That way if the whiny brats ever succeeded in violating people's gun rights, they'd also take away their own right to vote for a couple years.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2020 09:36 am
@McGentrix,
How do you figure?
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2020 12:44 am
@FreedomEyeLove,
Quote:
The 26 Amendment lowered the legal voting age in the United States from 21 to 18. The long debate over lowering the voting age began during World War II and intensified during the Vietnam War, when young men denied the right to vote were being conscripted to fight for their country. In the 1970 case Oregon v. Mitchell, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had the right to regulate the minimum age in federal elections, but not at the state and local level. Amid increasing support for a Constitutional amendment, Congress passed the 26th Amendment in March 1971. The states promptly ratified it, and President Richard M. Nixon signed it into law that July.


The 26th Amendment: Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote


During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt lowered the minimum age for the military draft age to 18, at a time when the minimum voting age (as determined by the individual states) had historically been 21. Old enough to fight, old enough to vote became a common slogan for a youth voting rights movement, and in 1943 Georgia became the first state to lower its voting age in state and local elections from 21 to 18.

Jennings Randolph, then a Democratic congressman from West Virginia, introduced federal legislation to lower the voting age in 1942; it was the first of 11 times that Randolph, who was later elected to the Senate, would introduce such a bill in Congress. The driving force behind Randolph’s efforts was his faith in America’s youth, of whom he believed: “They possess a great social conscience, are perplexed by the injustices in the world and are anxious to rectify those ills.”


Presidential & Congressional Support for the 26th Amendment


Dwight D. Eisenhower, who led the U.S. armed forces to victory in Europe in 1945, later became the first president to publicly voice his support for a constitutional amendment lowering the minimum voting age. In his 1954 State of the Union address, Eisenhower declared: “For years our citizens between the ages of 18 and 21 have, in time of peril, been summoned to fight for America. They should participate in the political process that produces this fateful summons.”

In the late 1960s, with the United States embroiled in a long, costly war in Vietnam, youth voting rights activists held marches and demonstrations to draw lawmakers’ attention to the hypocrisy of drafting young men who lacked the right to vote. In 1969, no fewer than 60 resolutions were introduced in Congress to lower the minimum voting age, but none resulted in any action. The following year, when Congress passed a bill extending and amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it contained a provision that lowered the voting age to 18 in federal, state and local elections. Though he signed the bill into law, President Richard M. Nixon issued a public statement declaring that he believed the provision to be unconstitutional. “Although I strongly favor the 18-year-old vote,” Nixon continued, “I believe–along with most of the Nation’s leading constitutional scholars–that Congress has no power to enact it by simple statute, but rather it requires a constitutional amendment.”


Supreme Court Decision on the 26th Amendment


In the 1970 case Oregon v. Mitchell, the U.S. Supreme Court was tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of the provision. Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority decision in the case, which held that Congress did not have the right to regulate the minimum age in State and local elections, but only in federal elections. The issue left the Court seriously divided: Four justices, not including Black, believed Congress did have the right in state and local elections, while four others (again, not including Black) believed that Congress lacked the right even for federal elections, and that under the Constitution only the states have the right to set voter qualifications.

Under this verdict, 18- to 20-year-olds would be eligible to vote for president and vice president, but not for state officials up for election at the same time. Dissatisfaction with this situation–as well as public reaction to the protests of large numbers of young men and women facing conscription, but deprived of the right to vote–built support among many states for a Constitutional amendment that would set a uniform national voting age of 18 in all elections.


Passage, Ratification and Effects of the 26th Amendment


On March 10, 1971, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously in favor of the proposed amendment. After an overwhelming House vote in favor on March 23, the 26th Amendment went to the states for ratification. In just over two months–the shortest period of time for any amendment in U.S. history–the necessary three-fourths of state legislatures (or 38 states) ratified the 26th Amendment. It officially went into effect on July 1, 1971, though President Nixon signed it into law on July 5, 1971. At a White House ceremony attended by 500 newly eligible voters, Nixon declared: “The reason I believe that your generation, the 11 million new voters, will do so much for America at home is that you will infuse into this nation some idealism, some courage, some stamina, some high moral purpose, that this country always needs.”

Though newly minted young voters were expected to choose Democratic challenger George McGovern, an opponent of the Vietnam War, Nixon was reelected by an overwhelming margin–winning 49 states–in 1972. Over the next decades, the legacy of the 26th Amendment was a mixed one: After a 55.4 percent turnout in 1972, youth turnout steadily declined, reaching 36 percent in the 1988 presidential election. Though the 1992 election of Bill Clinton saw a slight rebound, voting rates of 18- to 24-year-olds remained well behind the turnout of older voters, and many lamented that America’s young people were squandering their opportunities to enact change. The 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama saw a voter turnout of some 49 percent of 18- to 24 year-olds, the second highest in history.


Text of the 26 Amendment


Amendment XXVI
Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

https://www.history.com/topics/united-states-constitution/the-26th-amendment
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2020 12:51 am
@FreedomEyeLove,

The minimum voting age should definitely remain at 18.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  4  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2020 09:55 am
@FreedomEyeLove,
FreedomEyeLove wrote:

If the human brain doesn't fully develop until age 25, should the voting age be raised accordingly?


I think there is some validity in this - although I think 25 might be too high. I was told 21 (by a medical professional) is about the age the human brain fully develops, but of course this can be different by individual. I believe this why most states (if not all now) in the US has a drinking and pot age of 21 - however, if this is the case, then all of age of majority should be 21....going into the military, criminal, etc.

If we as a society determine that under 21 your brain is not fully developed and thus cannot make reasonable and responsible decisions, then all decisions that are typically made those of majority should not apply. You cannot pick and choice which you would prefer.

I love the thing that for college, parents have to declare their income for financial aid even though these students are mostly 18 and older. That parents get the college bills and are financially responsible for paying them - however, they cannot get access to the students grades without the student allowing them access to their account. I pay for it - then I get to see the results of my investment.

Sorry - just a rant - because that ticks me off. Fortunately for my daughter in college she gives me her passwords - so I can look if I want.

Just wait until next year when the little monster goes on to college - that will be a different story.
Walter Hinteler
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2020 10:48 am
@Linkat,
In my view, there is no direct link between a person's age and their political education or sense of responsibility.

By lowering the voting age (18 years, in local elections sometimes 16 here in Germany), young people would have a real right of co-determination and thus be able to help shape their own future. After all, most political decisions are very far-reaching and in some cases irreversible. If the voting age is not lowered, young people will have to bear the consequences in their adult lives of decisions in which they could not participate - because those who are involved in the political decision-making process know that they can make a difference.

An example of the success of lowering the voting age:
in Germany mayors are elected directly by the EU citizens living in that municipality.
In a middle seized town (Monheim, 50,000 inhabitants) teenagers founded the youth party PETO – Die junge Alternative ("PETO - the young alternative"). Their leader became the professional mayor in 2009, was re-elected twice (last time, three weeks ago, with 68.5% of votes against three opposing candidates). He's 32 years old this year.

In the town's parliament,the youth party got in the last election 56,8 % of the votes, followed by the conservatives (CDU) with 22,7 %, the Greens with 9,4 % and the Social-Democrats with 8,3 %.
Public transport is free for Monheim's citizens, kindergarten and all-day care for children/youth is free ... and the city budget has no debts since 2013.

Linkat
 
  4  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2020 12:19 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I am just referring to what makes sense for the age of majority.

Personally I think it depends - meaning in part someone at 18 even 16 has more brain development than someone 12. Just because it is not fully developed until 21 or 25 they could be able to handle this sort of decision making, however, my question would be how much developed is it?

Is it to the point that it makes sense that someone at 16 should vote? Are they in a position of making that sort of decision? Understanding that for those under 25/21 timeframe - their prefrontal cortex is the part that has not fully developed. This part of the brain affects how we regulate emotions, control impulsive behavior, assess risk and make long-term plans.

Basically are 16 year olds for the most part capable of looking at a candidate for the long term impact? What you say is correct - their voting can bear the impact and consequences later in life when they are an adult. But are their brains developed to the point where they are capable of looking at that?

The quandary is at 18 are they in the position to have brain function to make those sort of decisions/do they fully understand the long term consequences of their choice?

Maybe voting is appropriate at 18 or even 16 - but maybe their lack of assessing risk and their inability to appreciation long term plans makes voting not in the best interest of society at even 18.

I am just putting it out there that there is some validity in mentioning that the brain not being fully matured at 18, might make one rethink if the voting age should be higher.

To be honest - I went out and voted at almost every election once I was old enough. My daughters now - nope. I had to drag my daughter to vote in our local election. She was 20 and her first time voting. My other daughter just turned 18 - there is a big election around the corner - she has not even mentioned anything about it. So I decided I am not saying anything to her - it is up to her to show her maturity to register to vote. I did at 18. So maybe that is the guideline showing you are mature enough to want to seek out how to register?
Walter Hinteler
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2020 01:01 pm
@Linkat,
We don't have to register - we are registered automatically.
Besides that, many municipalities have a "children and youth parliament". They mainly have just discussions about schoolyard design, cycle paths, leisure facilities, environmental issues, but learn by such a lot about local policy reality.

The advantage of elected councils or parliaments is the possibility of long-term and truly binding work. In addition, children and young people gain an insight into adult politics. The disadvantages are the time-consuming election process and the fact that not everyone is given the opportunity to participate.

50, 60 years ago, when I was at school, we learnt such at school.
0 Replies
 
MiltonVines
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2020 08:15 am
@FreedomEyeLove,
A handful of communities in Maryland, mostly surrounding suburbs of Washington D.C., allow 16 year olds to vote in local elections. Here in California only, one community — the bastion of free speech that is Berkeley — allows 16 year olds to vote for one office: school board
0 Replies
 
 

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