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house Bill H. Joint Res. 138

Should 16 Year Olds Have the Right to Vote in Federal Elections?

Argument in favor

This generation of young people is more educated and connected with the world than their predecessors, and can be trusted to make educated choices with their votes. They should have the right to vote two years sooner once they turn 16.

Julia's Opinion
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08/10/2018
With the rate of gun violence in high schools, they deserve a say.
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08/10/2018
President Kennedy said once that "Students have the least ties to the past, and the greatest stake in the future." They ought to have the right to determine their own future, and make their views, and vision heard as well. Also quite frankly right now I think America's young people have shown more spine, compassion, open mindedness, and respect for our laws than the baby boomers like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi have, we are more capable of implementing an effective cohesive agenda than America's adults are proving capable of right now. Adults are the reason why we are set to inherit the worst chances of achieving the same wages our parents make, 20 trillion dollars in national debt primarily caused by two wars one of which we had absolutely no reason to start in the first place. I cannot imagine us doing more damage than our elders have. I’m not indicting an entire generation, but the current crowd of Washingtons leadership is so dangerous and disastrous young people deserve a say in these matters.
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Hillary's Opinion
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08/10/2018
In addition to voting rights let’s end high school at 16 and get kids into free public college and vocational education. Most kids headed to college have all their credits by the time they are juniors and most kids who want to learn a trade are working after school and not eager for the higher level high school classes. Stop treating people who are drawn to car repair like they aren’t as smart or as valuable as people who want to be scientists. They have different talents that are needed by everyone and are just as valuable!
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Argument opposed

The right to vote should be something that citizens obtain once they’re adults at age 18. If the voting age is going to be lowered, so should age of adulthood in the criminal justice system and the eligibility age for military service.

Gopin2020's Opinion
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08/10/2018
No they aren’t mature enough, even at eighteen most aren’t mature even then. Granted there are exceptions. This smells like a Democrat idea.
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IllWill's Opinion
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08/10/2018
I think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote in local elections so their concerns are heard in their local communities and in preparation for federal elections, but for federal elections themselves, the voting age should be kept at 18. The difference between a 16 year old and an 18 year old can be significant.
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Luke's Opinion
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08/10/2018
Most 16 year olds don't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to politics
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedAugust 3rd, 2018

What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 138?

This resolution would propose an amendment to the Constitution that’d lower the voting age to citizens 16 years of age in federal elections. It’d repeal the 26th Amendment, which sets the voting age at 18. This bill would also require states to ratify it within seven years after it’s submitted for ratification.

Because it proposes a constitutional amendment, after this resolution’s passage by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures (38 states) to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Impact

16 and 17 +year olds; the electorate; and election officials.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 138

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) proposed this constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 16 for federal elections, building on a movement that has seen some cities and states extend voting rights to 16 year olds in local elections. Among the states that have proposed lowering the voting age include Arizona, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Michigan — while actions taken by the D.C. city council could allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in presidential elections.

Critics like David Davenport, a research fellow in politics and law at the Hoover Institution, worry that 16 year olds may get excited about individual issues while lacking the political knowledge to be effective voters overall:

“My concern is if 16-year-olds were allowed to vote on any kind of broad scale, what we’d actually be doing is bringing the least politically informed, the least politically experienced, the least mature in terms of making long-term judgments and trade-offs, directly into and potentially affecting our voter turnout and results.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock / skynesher)

Official Title

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older.

    With the rate of gun violence in high schools, they deserve a say.
    Like (137)
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    No they aren’t mature enough, even at eighteen most aren’t mature even then. Granted there are exceptions. This smells like a Democrat idea.
    Like (125)
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    I think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote in local elections so their concerns are heard in their local communities and in preparation for federal elections, but for federal elections themselves, the voting age should be kept at 18. The difference between a 16 year old and an 18 year old can be significant.
    Like (122)
    Follow
    Share
    Most 16 year olds don't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to politics
    Like (85)
    Follow
    Share
    President Kennedy said once that "Students have the least ties to the past, and the greatest stake in the future." They ought to have the right to determine their own future, and make their views, and vision heard as well. Also quite frankly right now I think America's young people have shown more spine, compassion, open mindedness, and respect for our laws than the baby boomers like Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi have, we are more capable of implementing an effective cohesive agenda than America's adults are proving capable of right now. Adults are the reason why we are set to inherit the worst chances of achieving the same wages our parents make, 20 trillion dollars in national debt primarily caused by two wars one of which we had absolutely no reason to start in the first place. I cannot imagine us doing more damage than our elders have. I’m not indicting an entire generation, but the current crowd of Washingtons leadership is so dangerous and disastrous young people deserve a say in these matters.
    Like (81)
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    Share
    Voting age should be 21 and HOLDING A JOB FOR ONE YEAR.
    Like (54)
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    In addition to voting rights let’s end high school at 16 and get kids into free public college and vocational education. Most kids headed to college have all their credits by the time they are juniors and most kids who want to learn a trade are working after school and not eager for the higher level high school classes. Stop treating people who are drawn to car repair like they aren’t as smart or as valuable as people who want to be scientists. They have different talents that are needed by everyone and are just as valuable!
    Like (53)
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    Since people who can vote now barely do, why not? I'm sure the sixteen year olds will be more politically involved than the reality show watching, stuck on iphone entitled adult brats now.
    Like (42)
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    Children should take the time to fully go through high school and maybe even their first year of college. At the age of 16 teenagers can be overly influenced by the media and can disrupt politics if given the right to vote. 18 is the proper age because it gives people the time to develop their minds
    Like (35)
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    No. 16 year olds are no where near mature enough to be responsible voters.
    Like (34)
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    A majority of 16 yr olds don’t have to worry about paying mortgage/rent, picking the best healthcare coverage or paying property/school tax. Most would not appreciate the significance of what they’re doing. With that said, yes, there are a handful that would understand and would educate themselves about the candidates and would make a well informed decision. But the few wouldn’t justify giving all U.S. 16 yr olds the privilege of voting. And that’s what voting is; it’s a privilege that we should all appreciate.
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    God help us if that ever happens! Why is this dumb question even being asked? 16yr olds don’t know their head from their ass. I say raise the age to 25!!
    Like (30)
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    The voting age should be raised to 25.
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    IF THEY TAKE THE CHANCE OF BEING MURDERED IN THEIR SCHOOL BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS REFUSED TO GO AGAINST THE BRIBERS OF THE NRA---DEFINITELY!!!!
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    The voting age should remain the legal age of adulthood at 18. However, the Voting Rights Act should be reinstated and other reforms should be considered: Automatic (and permanent) registration to citizens at age 18, paper ballots, elections on weekends, and open primaries would go a long way toward improving the engagement of our eligible voters.
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    If you can get a driver’s license at sixteen, you should be able to vote at sixteen.
    Like (26)
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    “They are children.” Is the nay argument? LOL You can GET MARRIED AT 16!!! What is more “adult” than that?!?! If you are considered adult enough to LEGALLY GET MARRIED you are old enough to vote. You can drive at 16, get married at 16 (or earlier if your parents force you to. And it is disgusting -that- is still legal), get a job at 16, which means PAYING TAXES at 16, (no taxation without representation, anyone?)...you can go to war, buy shotguns and rifles, smoke cigarettes, vote, be eligible for the draft, and be charged as an adult criminally at 18 (or younger depending on the crime), you can buy handguns, drink, and smoke recreational marijuana at 21. You cannot lie to me that getting married at 16 is the equivalent of drinking a glass of wine or beer at 21. If anything, those should be switched. The real problem here is that there is no consistent law about the age of adulthood. What we need is not to lower the age of -thing- or raise the age of -thing- but simply to pick ONE AGE and stick to it. Pick a age that we as a society consider “adult enough”. Make that age the age of adulthood for absolutely everything without exception period full stop end of story. No more child marriages. No more dying in a war before you can drink beer. No more mixed signals. You are an adult at -age- with all of the benefits and responsibilities. Before that -age- you are a child and are ineligible for all the benefits and the responsibilities. I personally think it should be 21. The first quarter of the average lifespan you’re a kid. After that you are a adult. For everything. No matter what. Because the way it is now, our priorities for “adulthood” are truly fucked up. (It really should be 25. Brain development is still going on until then. However, basing a decision on science isn’t going to happen in this case because lots of people can’t be rational.)
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    They cannot possibly be more juvenile in their thinking than those who support this current executive and Congress.
    Like (24)
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    No, never. As someone once said on here...”Do you want the kid who is eating Tide Pods to decide anything for you, especially to decide our next President?” I sure don’t, and not even at the local level. Hell a lot of them can’t even find Florida or Italy on a map😩.
    Like (21)
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    Absolutely NOT. I wouldn’t have even trusted myself to vote when I was that young. Your brain isn’t even fully developed yet. I honestly feel that the voting age should be raised to 20 or 21.
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