The voice of the teenage members of the American society has for a long time been silenced by their inactive role in voting to elect their political representatives. Advocating for the teenage people to participate in elections will give them an upper hand role in choosing their preferred council members, getting in touch with several prominent community stakeholders, as well as facilitating their ability to take part in public decision making in affairs concerning their everyday life. These engagements will empower teenagers in assuming their future role as prominent leaders in various government agencies as well as both public and private organizations. The participation of youths in the elections of a nation, therefore, plays an important role in the developmental agenda of a society attributable to their active role in the socio-economic activities of the community. As such, providing my arguments for lowering the age of voting to 16 in Washington DC plays a key role in judging the appropriateness of such a policy which has attracted a global attention in the recent days.
In my view, the voting age in Washington DC should be reduced to 17 or 16 years. I consider the need to lower the voting age to 16 as a noble idea that will reduce the exclusionary social acts that define the teenage group as immature and a means of preventing them from engaging in routine communal practices such as employment, family caregiving, and other campaign support to the community (Students Reporting Lab, 2019). As such, engaging the youthful generation political affairs is beneficial in empowering them towards assuming a primary role in societal activities including venturing into community projects, collective financial contributions, and being active primary caregivers to other members of the larger community. As such, teenage voting ensures that the y0unger generation’s voice is heard within the society. With such empowered population, a state can, therefore, champion for better political agenda for the benefit of the entire community.
Engaging the youths in taking part in voting at an early age also facilitates their awareness of the required behaviors expected of them as members of a society. For instance, as electorates, the youthful generation is more enlightened about what is right and wrong and the consequences associated with breaking the law (Peto, 2019). Voting, therefore, trains youths to be self-reliant, supportive of the legal law requirements, and corrective of the choices that their fellow youths make in their interactions. On the contrary, I consider the policy to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16 in the local and federal elections as inappropriate as justified as follows. The 17-16 age bracket is often regarded as politically immature to make decisions. In a population with a large number of citizens, considering the voting age of 16 years may undermine the quality of democracy. For instance, most teens lack a sound political interest and preference in electing their representatives. The young population would, therefore, be politically manipulated into electing bad leaders from their little understanding of the duty to foster democratic governance within the community.
Lowering the age of voting to 16 in Washington DC would, therefore, attract contrary opinions. Engaging the age group of 17 or 16 years in voting is beneficial to the success of a nation. It encourages inequality in representing the youths to the social obligations such as employment opportunities, family caregiving as well as getting involved in social support for the good of the entire community. Allowing youths to elect leaders at the age of 16 years also creates their awareness of the social obligations expected of them. They are more enlightened on their rights and freedoms as well as the social vices that would contravene the law. Such awareness is, therefore, key in creating a supportive generation to others. On the other hand, teenage voting would attract political immaturity manifested by most youths who may lack the political goodwill to wisely vote and instead are manipulated by self-interested powers in gaining leadership.
Students Reporting Lab (2019). DC teens fight to lower the voting age to 16. Web.
Peto, T. (2018). Why the voting age should be lowered to 16. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 17(3), 277-297. Web.