This November, San Francisco will vote to determine if the voting age will be lowered to 16. If this proposition passes, this would create a positive impact for future elections.
If the voting age is lowered to 16, this would create more political engagement among teenagers. In high school, students are already taking classes that involve civics.They could make use of this knowledge to help them decide who they would vote for. If civics courses became relevant to everyday teenage life, this could encourage schools to better educate students on politics. With stronger education involving civics, students will be more likely to form their own opinions on politics, and not follow in the footsteps of their parents’ views.
Lowering the voting age will not only increase political engagement among teenagers, but it would also increase voting turnout. Opening up voting to 16 year olds will establish many new voters. Voting would become more of a habit among teenagers since they would start voting at a younger age. The number of voters decreases over the years as 18 year olds “leave the nest.” According to the organization Vote16USA, data from places that have lowered the voting age to 16 year olds do indeed vote at higher rates than older first-time voters. Allowing 16 and 17 year old to participate in voting would counteract that decline.
Teenagers have similar, or even identical lives as adults. Hence why some refer to them as ‘young adults.’ Just like adults teenagers have jobs, pay income taxes, and are able to drive in many states. There is a very fine line between teen life and adulthood. 16 and 17 year olds in some cases, can be tried as adults. Considering they have to follow the law, they’re needs and concerns should definitely be taken into account.
San Francisco could possibly soon become the first American city to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in elections. This would open many doors for the youth and better their future.