Why Teenagers Shouldn’t Vote

Willow DeLong, Staff Writer

So, there’s been some controversy over legal voting ages, and many want to lower it to about 16 years of age as the minimum age to legally vote in the United States. I, however, do not feel underage citizens (under 18 years of age) should be granted that right. The voting age in the US is currently 18 years, and was changed from 21 years in 1971 (26th Amendment). Many want to lower it yet again.

Although there are plenty of mature and rightly educated minors, I do not believe that teenagers have the level of maturity, capability, and responsibility that should be necessary to do something as big as vote. Teenagers are not permitted legal responsibility to alcohol, and going from childhood into early adulthood, teenagers are still somewhat developing their own opinions and making their own decisions. At this age, they are still very reliant and dependant on their parents for ideas and opinions, and tend to be easily influenced by what they hear, whether it be from word around school or social media posts. They also tend to ‘bandwagon’ on ideas, concepts, and opinions, which in the case of voting, following the popular crowd can make the votes and polls essentially unfair and unreliable.

Most 16 and 17 year old’s are still in school, maybe have a part time job or driver’s license, but still live under their parent’s roof. They are still young, still naive, and haven’t even barely begun life. (Most) teenagers have no ‘real-world’ experience, and that could cause problems with voting. Being less educated than legal adults, practically ‘kids’ still, teens probably have no idea how their decisions and votes affect not only themselves as an individual, but the entire country! Voting for someone or something just because it’s popular or common, or because it ‘sounds good’ or some other (likely dumb) reason like that is illogical and quite frankly, irresponsible.

You may hear kids in the halls at school saying “Donald Trump this..” or “Hillary Clinton that..” or “Democrats.. Republicans.. Liberals.. Ughh!” They may talk a big game about politics, but really, should they be? Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to show interest in the political parties, and United States laws, but unless they’ve studied and done some good research, many of them seem to have no idea what they’re actually talking about. Out of a survey of 10 Lake City HS students, of ages ranging from 14-18 years, only 3 could respond most of the correct and appropriate answers to a simple 5 question quiz about different political parties, past presidents, and constitutional laws and amendments. 75% (15 out of 20)  Lake City Students agreed that the legal voting age should be lowered to 16 years old, while only 25% (5 out of 20) thought it should remain 18. Though, only 10% ( 2 out of 20) teachers and adults said that the age should be lowered to 16, and 90% (18 out of  20) said that it should remain the same, and even a few agreed that it should be heightened back to 21 years of age once again. The students that disagreed with lowering the voting age to 16 admitted that it’s not a good idea to give this privilege to teenagers, who still lack maturity. Lake City student Joseph Gruszka says that 16 and 17 year old’s brains are still developing, and that they should wait until they are more responsible and sensible with their decisions to be allowed to vote. And I agree.

So, for the sake of good ‘ol America, I think it’s best that us kids gain a little more knowledge and real world experience before we are given the right to such a responsibility of voting in the US.