My age limits me. Sure, there is a certain excitement when you turn 16 because it feels like freedom is coming your way, you can drive. When you turn 18, you are in the thick of the high school to college transition, and you can vote and join the armed forces. And then there is 21, the legal age to drink.
While these milestones are exciting, my age still limits me.
When I'm young, I'm "too young" to hold positions of significant power or to start a business, run for office, and so on. When I pass a certain age, I'm considered "too old" or "not in my prime anymore." So, which is it? Why is my age so limiting? Especially when it comes time to choose your representative in elected office.
It is my fundamental belief that everyone should have the opportunity to vote.
Of course, there are questions surrounding this theory. Most commonly, the question of whether or not a baby or child should vote. Won't their parents vote for them, and as such, that vote will be just taken away to push political agendas? No, this just isn't the case. There are ways to support every citizen having the right to vote while ensuring that vote is theirs. When a person is ready to vote, they can register (no matter the age!).
For the sake of this piece, let's talk about lowering the voting age, at least to the age of 16.
Every person has some specific stake in the game when it comes to their elected officials. Think about the school board. Why should people who have no stake in education be the ones solely voting on that seat? More importantly, why should someone who hasn't even experienced school in 30+ years vote on the issues? School board seats are exceedingly important. Young people are the ones who are going to experience those school policies in action. Why should anyone else vote for that representative?
We talk about how important civics education is, and the best way to learn is through experience.
Allowing young people to vote is civic education in action! People who are 16 pay taxes. If you pay taxes, you should have the opportunity to vote. We are missing millions of the population. And for those who think 16-year-olds won't vote, isn't it better to have the possibility of millions of people voting than none?
We often talk about the American dream. Well, my dream is to have the right to my civic duty.
My dream is to live in a world where I don't have to always argue why I should be treated equally or why I should be able to vote. If everyone is created equal, why do opportunities vary? Is age equality not relevant?