With the recent uprisings and movements led by teenagers in opposition to current policies and events, it is no surprise that many have voiced their opinion to lower the minimum voting age from 18 years old to 16 years old, allowing the younger generation to be heard.
Politicians are often either middle-aged or senior citizens, but they make legislative decisions that directly affect all individuals, especially the younger generations. However, it would be unwise and irresponsible to give teenagers the right to vote.
Voting is the most important civic duty. It is something that has a direct impact on individual lives, especially when it comes to local elections that affect neighborhoods and cities.
Local elections are important because officials who are elected hold greater sway over policy, which in turn has a considerable effect on the politicians’ constituents. Teenagers may feel entitled to have a say in their government, especially since elected officials will have a direct impact on their lives. However, teenagers represent an age group that is more easily manipulated. Giving them the vote might cause more harm than good.
In the last few decades, there has been a significant rise in teenagers with social anxiety, making this generation much more impressionable.
Politicians could change their campaign strategies to target these impressionable teenagers, persuading the young people to vote for their ideas, even if the teenagers might not agree.
Adolf Hitler used a similar strategy in Nazi Germany to facilitate his rise to power. He targeted the youth, who were more easily manipulated.
There are reasons why certain civic responsibilities are delayed until a person turns 18. These regulations factor in maturity as well as the ability to make rational decisions since these decisions can impact the lives of individuals, the people around them and in some cases the entire country.
For example, in New York parents are legally responsible for the financial support of their children until the age of 21, unless the children are emancipated by a court order, marriage or joining the military. Young adults who can currently vote are still under their parents’ supervision.
Modern teenagers might think that because they have easy access to information, they can vote, but this skill comes with time and maturity. If current young adults are barely trusted with important decisions, they should also wait their turn to cast a vote in an election, until life experience provides them with further development and knowledge.