Politics

Should Minors Get To Vote?

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Sixteen-year-olds can choose where to work, whether to get a driver's license, and (depending on the state) who they want to have sex with or even marry. While the government and their parents might object, they're also making choices about what to watch and listen to and whether to consume drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps it's time we also let them vote.

Under-18s are not allowed to participate in state or national elections anywhere in the United States. A few tiny Maryland communities on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections, and Berkeley, California, lets 16-year-olds vote for school board seats.

Critics argue teens are too irresponsible, too immature, or too uninformed to make crucial decisions about whether they'd prefer the Democrat or the Republican. One could say the same for many adults, yet the franchise persists. Only 26 percent of those 18 or older in the U.S. can name the three branches of government, according to a 2017 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center; more than a third of respondents could not name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment. A 2018 C-SPAN poll found that even though 91 percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court impacts their everyday lives, 52 percent of Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice.

Luckily, no one vote matters very much. That won't change if we let 16- and 17-year-olds cast ballots.

This year, lawmakers in Oregon and California introduced bills that would lower the voting age to 16 for state elections. In March, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment that would do the same at the national level.

Most proponents of lowering the voting age don't appear to actually respect the decision-making abilities of teenagers—they just believe a younger voting population will be more likely to support their preferred policies. Proponents often cite the pro-gun control activism of survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting as an example of younger voters being inherently more reasonable. Meanwhile, in both Oregon and Washington, D.C., the same legislators who say they want to empower youth by lowering the voting age have voted to raise the smoking age to 21.

It's a shame these lawmakers see youth voting as a tool for gaining electoral advantage, not as one of the many rights due to teens as budding individuals.

Lawmakers in 13 states have introduced proposals since 2003 to expand suffrage to under-18s. So far, all of them have failed.

We should let teenagers make many more decisions than they're able to now—including in civic life. It's highly unlikely they'll do worse than their parents.

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  1. Yes let’s give teachers unions even more power. Brilliant.

    1. That’s one of my thoughts. From a libertarian perspective, what is the anticipated outcome of giving dependents the right to decide upon entitlements and how other people’s money is spent? Too many people who shouldn’t have a say in the electoral process already vote. If a person is unable to support him/herself without state subsidies then they shouldn’t have a say in how taxpayer dollars are spent. You don’t give a charity recipient a position on the corporate board unless you want to provide much more charity.
      I really do get tired of calls for freedom that are disconnected from responsibility and accountability. If someone is irresponsible with their money then I should not be required to provide for them. If someone engages in unhealthy habits then I shouldn’t be expected to pay their medical bills. A freedom to do something should explicitly be combined with the responsibility to accept the consequences of such actions. Without such a dynamic we are creating a society of stupid, entitled, self-absorbed, and bratty children.

      1. Who cares about outcomes? It’s fweeeee! FWEEEEE!!

      2. +100

      3. Just how generously are we defining “subsidy” here?

        Food Stamps? Section 8 Housing?

        How about the Earned Income Credit? Mortgage Interest Deduction?

        How about corporate subsidies? Working for a business that gets corporate subsidies?

        Does being a state employee count as being “subsidized”? A federal employee? Armed forces?

        Just where you define and draw the line on “subsidy” changes the context of your suggestion.

        1. Yoirs is pne of those posts that the author thinks is insightful, but is just intentionally muddying the waters.

          The answers to your question are easy. Yes food stamps and section 8. Those are actual subsidies.

          Nothing else on your list applies even remotely. No working for a business that gets subsidies is not a subsidy. Even asking about EIC or Mortgage Interest Reduction is silly. No being a government employee isn’t a subsidy.

          I realize the misuse of the word has become widespread, but that doesnt meant you have to adopt that horrible habit.

          1. Please define subsidy in such away that it legally defines the cutout you want then. EscherEnigma basically points out that this opens up a very big space. Subsidy has to be legally defined in some way at that point, and thus it is now a very political consideration about who gets to vote.

            There is a long history of government bending definitions in this way, and your response was “It’s obvious, idiot” without supplying any actual definition.

          2. I realize the misuse of the word has become widespread, but that doesnt meant you have to adopt that horrible habit.

            Without quibbling over your arbitrary distinctions†, that’s exactly what I wasn’t doing. I was asking MasterThief to define their terms so that, regardless of “misuse” (widespread or otherwise) we would all know what they meant.

            Which we still don’t. As you recognized, your understanding of the term is not “widespread”, so asserting that MasterThief meant your definition is pretty silly.

            1. How could someone even begin to describe someone working a job as a subsid? It defies even the most simplistic of definitions. The others could arguably be subsidies but wages are wages rather private or public. Additionally, working for a private corporations that receives government contracts or even more direct subsidies, is also a bit of a stretch. Unless you define allprivate industry wages as private subsidies.

              1. In trying to eliminate conflicts of interest, jobs are frequently determined to be such. Usually it’s recognized that someone seeking to get funds or resources to someone else can do so by paying more for goods or services than they’re worth, or having them receive more in goods or services than is paid for. Take for instance campaign finance regulations and sports amateurism rules. Buy my campaign book, anyone? Honoraria for speaking?

                If jobs are never subsidies, why do politicians promise them to unions? Why do union members vote for them? If food stamps are a subsidy to their recipients, aren’t they also a subsidy to the farmers whose agricultural surpluses were designed to be drawn down, and prices increased, by the program? How about for the grocery stores and all the middlemen?

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    2. Teenagers are pro-union? I did not know that! 🙁

      1. I can’t speak for oscar, but I think he’s referring to the influence and authority that teachers have over minor students and the decisions they make.

        1. On the other hand, they are teenagers.

          1. Teenagers with hardhats and union cards, evidently.

            1. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here. Are you saying lowering the voting age won’t benefit political educator interest groups because teenagers don’t wear hard hats or join teachers unions?

              Personally, I agree with numerous commenters here that there should be one set age of full legal agency that includes suffrage. If that age is 16, then fine, but it should be ubiquitous for all legal adult activities.

        2. “but I think he’s referring to the influence and authority that teachers have over minor students and the decisions they make.”

          Chip knows that, but NPCs are programmed to bleat prog propaganda. He can’t help himself.

        3. I like these kids from the STEM school in CO

          https://www.krdo.com/news/top-stories/planned-vigil-turns-into-unplanned-protest-by-stem-school-students/1076526878

          The students then went back inside the gym and took over the microphone.

          “This was not a vigil, this was merely a political stunt. This is not what we wanted for Kendrick. We didn’t want Kendrick to be a prop, we wanted Kendrick to be mourned,” One male student said. “We all walked out, we were not kicked out despite what you have heard, now we’re back to tell you that we love Kendrick and we love all of the survivors.”

          “I came here for my close friend Kendrick,” One female student said, “I just wanted to talk about him a little bit and everybody has been here talking about gun violence and avoiding the fact that he died.”

          The event ended peacefully with the students wrapping up their speaking and walking out.

      2. Teenagers are pro-union? I did not know that!

        You wouldn’t think that Trump was pro-Russia just by looking at him either but electing him as President has turned out to be the best decision this country ever made.

      3. Teenagers are pro-union? I did not know that!

        <a href="They tend to support anything be when plied with "protest field trips" by the teachers.

        1. Fuuuck. Link

          I’m going to walkout if Reason doesn’t bring back the preview button. WHO’S WITH ME?

        2. Are kids really so lame these days that they actually buy into the “protest field trip” crap. I imagine more kids just wanting out of school and maybe find some place to go smoke pot, and not really being into the cause. But maybe things have changed.

    3. Yup. This.

      Don’t give the franchise to people who spend a third of their day in government indoctrination centers. If you don’t think teachers aren’t going to sway their students’ votes, you been smoking the wacky tobaccky. Not every teacher, but enough will that it will sway the demographic. Especially in local and state elections where teachers union politics comes into play.

      I don’t trust adults to vote, but at least most adults are ostensibly making their own life decisions. Kids have most of their decisions made for them.

  2. As soon as they’re off mommy and daddy’s health insurance.

    1. At fucking 26 years of age.

      26!

      You would never hear the end of it if kids had to go to school for 26 years. Plus, somehow kids would be dumber than they are now.

      1. That’s my reply to most derp. How long did you have to go to school to get that stupid?

      2. Of course, the only reason they need to be on mommy and daddy’s health insurance at 26 is because they can’t do the ‘catastrophic only’ insurance thing their parents got to do at that age. If my kid has to choose between paying $400 a month for their own plan or paying me $100 to make up the cost difference for having a full family plan, I’ll take the money.

        1. Yeah, you can’t really hold it against the young adults who stay on family plans. What are they supposed to do, throw money away?

        2. Your link fell off.

          Catastrophic health insurance for young people is cheaper than if an old person tries to get it.

  3. While I won’t argue that most voters are woefully uninformed, the solution cannot be to allow those with even less-formed brains and thought processes the vote.

    I’d a lot rather see the voting age raised to 25, or even 30, than lowered further.

    1. That idea is at least getting closer to the idea of property owners having the right to vote. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that only land owners have that right, but it is certainly a major indicator that a person has skin in the game. If people don’t have skin in the game then what reason do they have to not impose their will on others and attempt to take more?

      1. I’m with you – no-one who doesn’t actually pay income tax should be allowed to vote, ideally.

        Paul will always vote himself Peter’s money.

        1. What about the old farts who have retired, and with the generous personal exemptions, and the generous standard deduction, currently pay no INCOME tax. Yet we still continue to pay property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, and taxes on taxes?

          1. I sit corrected. no-one who worked and paid income taxes, and continues to pay property taxes should be disallowed the vote.

      2. I disagree. I have owned several properties. I sold off mine when I came back to my home town to take care of my parents. When the both passed in a span on two month I ended up with the house. I did do a lot of work on it and I take care on some things ,yards and some repairs for my neighbors on both sides. The will stipulated the house to be sold. Some went to my siblings ,the lions share to me. My one neighbor and her son wanted me to stay { as did the others } so they bought the house from me. I pay a small rent. I took the cash and put it in my Roth and a chunk in savings for just in case cash. I have no debt, and put 25 % of my pay in savings and Roth. Works for me.

        1. I know some rather well off people that don’t own property and prefer to pay rent. You end up paying the house’s worth of interest to the bank over the life of a mortgage, plus you pay property taxes. The costs of ownership are quite high. Plus, paying rent gives you a lot of freedom to leave and never look back whenever you want.

          1. Hahaha. You know that people who rent property include property taxes and future costs of maintenance into the rent?

            If you are renting your home out and are not collecting extra to fully cover your mortgage, taxes, and future maintenance costs you deserve to fail.

            1. As a renter, you may be covering the cost of property taxes, but you, yourself, are not liable. That’s an important distinction, because the government has more power than any creditor to fuck your life up.

              Renting doesn’t build any equity or wealth, but it’s much lower risk. There are trade-offs to everything.

              1. *tenant, not renter

              2. In most areas of the USA, a property owner can kick you out of “your home” with only a few months notice.

                While you are correct about some issue of liability that you are concerned about for some reason, the risk is that you will need to find a new place to live if the landlord kicks you out.

                There are trade offs but the ridiculous statement about renting being cheaper than having a mortgage needed to smacked down.

      3. “but it is certainly a major indicator that a person has skin in the game.”
        WHITE skin, no doubt. I just can’t even with you racists.

      4. “If people don’t have skin in the game then what reason do they have to not impose their will on others and attempt to take more?”

        Why does owning property prevent you from wanting to impose your will on otters?

    2. Set the Age of Majority and that would be for voting too.

      Our education system sucks and that needs to be fixed, with a great solution being slashing public funding for schools. Let parents pay the lion’s share of school costs.

      This way, you can send your kid to a lefty indoctrination camp if you want to or put them in a school that actually teaches kids to prepare them for their futures.

    3. Or we could finally act like real adults and run the progressives out of the country. Trying to deal with them is like that old metaphor about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

      Progressives have to go.

      1. +100

  4. Sixteen-year-olds can choose where to work, whether to get a driver’s license, and (depending on the state) who they want to have sex with or even marry. While the government and their parents might object, they’re also making choices about what to watch and listen to and whether to consume drugs and alcohol.

    And yet we don’t let them vote. Which suggests that just being able to make adult decisions is not sufficient for being allowed to vote. How about we limit the vote to tax-paying citizens who can pass a basic civics test?

    1. Only 26 percent of those 18 or older in the U.S. can name the three branches of government, according to a 2017 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center; more than a third of respondents could not name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment. A 2018 C-SPAN poll found that even though 91 percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court impacts their everyday lives, 52 percent of Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice.

      Which suggests about half the people currently voting in federal elections have no business voting in federal elections.

    2. In many states (Washington being one of them) the ability of a 16 yo to work is severely limited as well. Additionally, almost every state restricts what jobs a 16 yo can do, especially if the jobs is extremely dangerous or requires a lot of responsibility. You can’t join the military, be held liable for debt, be criminally liable as an adult (except in extreme circumstances) etc but this moron thinks letting them vote because they can get a part time job at the Dairy Queen is a food idea? Hell, in many rural states you can get a driver’s license at 14 or 15 maybe we out to lower the voting age to then. Why not?

      1. As an aside, Christian is reaching Shikha level of stupidity.

  5. Arguably, 100 years ago a 16 year old was considered more legally responsible for his actions than one is today, yet the voting age was greater. I would submit that being a good voter requires some experience of self-reliance before one can presume to take part in decisions for society. They need learn to clean their rooms before they can have a say in other people’s spaces.

    This would appear to be one of those Chesterton’s Fences, perhaps Britschgi should not casually advocate for its removal.

    1. So, a room inspection from the voting board before you can vote?

      1. It is a metaphor for having some experience in the real world taking care of yourself before you are granted political authority to direct the violence of the state in other people’s business.

        1. +1

          This is what the entire article misses. There can be no natural right to vote, because a vote represents your share of political violence directed at others. It is a privilege granted to those who are responsible enough to use it. Expanding the franchise does not “give people more rights,” it expands the pool of available tyrants. We need to be very cautious about whom we grant the ability to rule over us.

          1. Doesn’t reducing the share of available tyrants down to the smallest number, possible, i.e. 1, guarantee the outcome you’re trying to avoid? I’m not a fan of lowering the voting age to 16, but spreading around the ability to direct political violence at others is kind of what democracy is. Spread it around enough and mix in a few republican concepts and you keep a lot of the tyranny at bay.

            1. We are far from having a dictator without 16 year olds and I am not sure what benefit there is in entrusting political authority to an age group that is five years out of being trusted with alcohol.

            2. Well said. I am wrong.

              I’ll correct by removing the phrase:

              Expanding the franchise to teenagers does not give them more rights. It only empowers them to direct political violence. We should be extraordinarily cautious about whom we entrust this to.

          2. Well, it’s a privilege granted to any citizen over 18 who hasn’t committed any serious crimes, anyway. You will have a hard time convincing me that that is a reasonable proxy for being responsible.

  6. Most proponents of lowering the voting age don’t appear to actually respect the decision-making abilities of teenagers—they just believe a younger voting population will be more likely to support their preferred policies.

    If so that says much about the sophistication of their preferred policies.

  7. Sixteen-year-olds can choose where to work
    Not in Virginia.

    1. That law shows you which industries were threatened by cheap labor competition from minors.

    2. Part A bans 16-17 year olds from various jobs that are especially dangerous – although A.2. seems to ban them from even using a floor buffer to shine a waxed floor. Most states have similar laws, possibly better worded.

      However, the rest of it seems pretty arbitrary, and I think Chipper identified the real reason.

  8. Yes, and while we’re at it, let’s give ’em the cars keys and a quart of whiskey.

    1. There are many parts of the country where that’s not all that controversial.

    2. when i was sixteen I always had a bottle of Jack in the car. I thought it would be hilarious if my parents got pulled over when they borrowed my car. they never did get pulled over but every time I used there car, bam the cops were there. Hey do you suppose they had me tailed, SOB it took me 52 years to figure that one out.

  9. Well said. Allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote is the proper, humanitarian, pro-science position.

    Also it would overwhelmingly benefit Democrats — another perk for us Koch / Reason libertarians.

    #LibertariansForHighSchoolSophomoreVoting
    #(TheyShouldntBuyTobaccoThough)
    #(AndDefinitelyDontLetThemBuyGuns)

    1. Do you ever wonder why the old wander to conservatism? I thought once you were woke, you never go Koch.

  10. Sixteen-year-olds can choose where to work, whether to get a driver’s license, and (depending on the state) who they want to have sex with or even marry. While the government and their parents might object, they’re also making choices about what to watch and listen to and whether to consume drugs and alcohol.

    Parents have authority and rights over their children until the kids reach the Age of Majority.

    All the age differences for product sales between 18 and 21 is ridiculous. Set an Age of Majority and that is it for contracts, buying alcohol, tobacco, vaping, military service, sex, drugs, etc. If it is 18, then kids dont need their parents permission anymore.

    1. Sounds good. Libertarians should not forget that each person has individual rights irrespective of whether or not that person is a taxpayer or can pass a civics test. Determining who needs a guardian to protect those rights is never going to be a cut and dried process.

  11. I’m fine with it as long as we make ALL rights and responsibilities age 16. Let ’em buy guns, join the military, drink, smoke marijuana where legal. Let’s make a consistent age of majority.

    1. Exactly. I love how they’re arguing kids are mature and wise enough to vote, at the same time they push to increase the age to buy firearms, etc. because…why? They’re not mature and wise enough to handle the responsibility?
      I guess that means voting isn’t really all that important, right?

      1. Who are “they”? I’m pretty sure the author of this article doesn’t support increasing the age to buy guns or tobacco or anything.

        1. Many states are increasing the age to buy cigs and guns to 21

          1. Are those same states also seriously considering lowering the voting age?
            It’s always worth questioning when someone asserts that “they” are doing something.

            1. This article specifically states Oregon and California are discussing to reduce the voting age to 16. However, both Oregon and California have passed laws increasing tobacco age to 21, and California has already increased the age to purchase rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21 in 2018. If my memory is correct, Oregon has either already passed or is trying to pass the same gun legislation.

              So yes, Oregon and California is saying that kids are responsible and mature enough to vote at the age of 16 but yet are too irresponsible and immature to buy a pack of smokes or a gun until they’re 21.

      2. It’s reasonable to think that different things require different levels of maturity and experience. (It’s utterly idiotic to think that everyone becomes competent for any particular thing at the same age, but there’s a similar problem with all laws that go beyond punishing violence, theft, and fraud.)

        However, if a person is not competent to buy guns, he is not competent to decide when it is appropriate to use violence to defend himself or the social compact even when he can see the violation standing right in front of him. If so, he is even less competent to decide when to allow the state to use violence in cases that he never sees – and that is what voting means. If we’re going to have different ages for buying and bearing arms and for voting, voting should come last.

        As for drinking, it might make more sense to allow that at 12 or 14, and have the stupid binge drinking mostly over with before a kid can drive or own a gun.

  12. Killing babies; you forgot 16 year-olds have the agency to kill babies.
    Surely that qualifies them as being smart enough to vote?
    Or does it just mean they weren’t listening in sex ed class?
    Given that the public school system does not teach anything about how to think, or apply logic, or even determine fact from (social media) fiction, I would say this:
    “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

    Oh, yeah, and what was that tag line from that the dim dark past? “Never trust anyone over 30”
    Welcome to the revolution.

    1. Well, they have the capacity to make babies. Seems natural that the two go together.

  13. Sixteen-year-olds can choose where to work, whether to get a driver’s license, and (depending on the state) who they want to have sex with or even marry. While the government and their parents might object, they’re also making choices about what to watch and listen to and whether to consume drugs and alcohol.

    Not one of those things has anywhere close the impact voting can. Being able to flip a burger, drive on the highway or intimate with someone else says nothing about whether or not a person believes a 70% tax rate is a good idea.

    1. I think the draft age, drinking age, smoking age, voting age should be the same.

      1. And buying guns, and age of consent, and any Obamacare insurance requirements.

  14. If the public brainwashing facilities have done the job by 16 years of age, why do we still force them to go another year or two? So here is my proposal… End public school 2 years earlier, then 16 year olds can vote

    1. Or better yet, bring back child labor so they can get a few years of actual work experience under their belt. Then vote away!

  15. Should minors get to vote? No, not unless they are emancipated minors. More generally, persons under the authority of a legal guardian should not get to vote.

    My preference would be to raise the age of majority back to 21 and then make it much easier to obtain “emancipated minor” status. It should be available for the asking, for 18-20 year olds, and easier to obtain for under-18s than it currently is.

    And then treat emancipated minors as if they were legally 21 for all purposes with no exceptions whatsogoddamnever. They get to vote, buy guns, be tried as adults, sign binding contracts, consent to sex, star in porn films, produce porn films – everything, without the current crazy-stupid-evil weaseling of “You’re 18! You’re an adult! No you’re not; we were just kidding. Hahahaha!”

    1. “It should be available for the asking, for 18-20 year olds” who show proof of self sufficiency and assets or income streams to substantiate that claim.

      1. Old Greek style citizenship. Be a citizen, get rights. Not a citizen, limited rights.

  16. I wonder if Kamala Harris would be OK with a 16 year old skipping school as long as they were using that time to vote Democrat.

  17. No. Pick one age of adulthood and stick with it.

    If anything, I’d rather have a higher voting age. I propose 40.

    1. Or here’s an idea. Make the voting age for each office the same as the minimum age required to hold that office.

    2. If anything, I’d rather have a higher voting age. I propose 40.

      40 or Christian Britschgi’s age +15, whichever’s higher.

    3. Well, the minimum age to serve in Congress is 25; that sounds like a good number to me.

      Or would Christian say we should allow 16-year-olds to be in Congress?

      1. Probably wouldn’t turn out much differently.

  18. Why is 16 now the magical age? Why set such an arbitrary limit? Why not just let everyone who is a citizen vote? Baby born on Election Day? Slap a pen in its hand and a ballot in front of it and let it make its marks.

    1. Because 16 year olds are now going to lead us to a magical world where plastic straws don’t exist and no one ever gets shot.

      1. Seems a bit utopian considering the 16 year olds are the ones doing all the shooting.

        1. “you must be this tall to ride”

  19. On the one hand, I agree that 16 or 18 or 21 is arbitrary line-drawing.

    On the other hand, we say that we draw all of those lines as proxies for the maturity and judgement of the youth. I see no good justification for having different lines. If you’re mature enough to die for your country or to get married without parental permission, you are mature enough to drink, mature enough to vote. Whatever line you choose to draw, those (and maybe others) should all have the same line.

    1. Yep, there should be one age of majority, whether its 16, 17, 18, 21, or something else we should just have a single line

    2. That’s the way I see it. I think it makes sense from a libertarian point of view.

  20. You must show a gun permit to vote. No other restrictions.
    Let the whining begin.

  21. Is there any country in the world that allows 16 year olds to vote?

    1. Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, and Nicaragua all have voting at 16.

      1. And look at how utopian those societies are.

        That list really doesn’t seem to recommend that lowering the voting age results in good governance. BTW does Cuba actually count, since they can vote but only get one choice?

  22. If I were the Orange King I’d mandate through Executive Order that no one under the age of $100K/year could vote for anything, ever, believe me, we’ll see.

  23. they’re also making choices about what to watch and listen to and whether to consume drugs and alcohol

    WTHF? They may be making decisions, but they certainly aren’t making choices legally. Moreover, they’re also making *choices* about Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops in the morning too, WTF difference does it make?

    This is *Reason* (drink), right? You whine for years about how Russians used social media to manipulate the electorate and steal the election and then suggest we hand voting rights to minors raised on social media? Fuck off.

  24. “Should Minors Get To Vote?”
    No.
    Anyone who doesn’t remember making really horrid decisions when they were ‘a minor’ has had a serious memory loss.

    1. Anyone who doesn’t remember making really horrid decisions when they were ‘a minor’ has had a serious memory loss.

      Also a decent criteria for a maximum voting age.

    2. That sounds like an argument not allowing senior citizens to vote.

  25. Silly proposal. What is the point of us adults running up a bar tab of $20 trillion like drunken sailors if some kid is gonna come take the booze away cuz they have no interest in paying that tab?

    1. As an aside – it’s long past time for the kids to be yelling at us – You irresponsible jerks. I ain’t gonna pay your bills no more. Now get off my lawn.

      1. I am going to remember that one 🙂

      2. God you buy into evey single piece of stupid leftist propaganda you see.

        I didn’t have anything to do with running up that tab. I’m a libertarian, and this is a libertarian website.

        Take your screeching to the “TEAM” websites where their policies are the reason for that tab. And fuck off with that “us” shit.

        1. No true Scotsman ever is responsible. Of course, if you were a true Scotsman you wouldn’t be commenting on a thread about VOTING eligibility either since no true Scotsman would ever be interested in such a thing.

          1. I’m not interested. Am I a true Scotsman?

      3. Considering the young are the ones calling for even more government programs, it seems illogical that you think they will be the ones to rein in government spending.

        1. So, the young all think with one mind now?
          I see an awful lot of the old calling for more government programs too.

          1. Polling supports the idea that they generally support universal health care, free college etc. Not all but a majority. They also tend to support restrictions on free speech and gun control according to polling.

        2. If they are gonna be paying the debt, they get to decide what it’s spent on. Right now, virtually the entire debt is incurred to pay over-65’s and put on the back of their grandchildren.

          Maybe if libertarians actually gave a shit about cutting spending and the debt that is going to be passed on generationally in real life, the young might listen to them. Instead it is always – lower my taxes and don’t cut spending so pass on debt to others to pay.

          1. I doubt you will find a single libertarian who doesn’t support cutting spending. Wow, straw man much?
            Also, so instead you are fine with the young dictating to those in the 30-50s paying for all the stuff the young want instead of everyone paying for those over 65 (most of who have already paid into the system). That is actually the big point, those over 65 already have paid into the system most of their lives. Unfortunately, the government mismanaged and overpromised. The young however, have paid little or nothing into the system yet. So, your solution (rather than ending social programs) is to let those who have not paid into the system (and have never had to, for the most part live on a budget) decide how federal money should be spent, rather than those who worked all their lives and paid into the system, because the government fucked up managing the money that the elderly paid into the system? That seems like a logical plan that nothing could go wrong.

  26. If the State didn’t violate rights, then the question as to who could vote would be moot.

    It’s not the “who” violates my rights that matters to me, it’s the fact that my rights are violated!

  27. The problem is that even among people who genuinely wish to be good citizens, there are many policies that sound good at first glance, but are terrible, counterproductive, or even amoral once you look at both sides.

    You need wisdom in order to see these things. In fact you need at least a modicum of life experience to see things from other perspectives at all.

    And what is the benefit of giving youngsters the vote? The article is singularly lacking any support for its central proposition.

  28. No, if they’re not legally allowed to have a drink or enter into a contract, then no vote. Period, the end, end of discussion. You want me to change my mind? Lower the drinking age and the right to enter contract.

    And again, I can’t understand why 16 is the magic age. Why not 12? 11? 4?

  29. Most proponents of lowering the voting age don’t appear to actually respect the decision-making abilities of teenagers,

    This puts me in mind of that study that came out some years ago that found that the brain functions of people like under the age of 23 weren’t fully developed and therefore teenagers were ultimately not responsible for their actions. Defense attorneys around the country jumped on this and NPR had several on claiming that The Science Was Settled, none of their clients were responsible for their actions.

    I guess all that goes out the window for the vote, eh?

    Simply pointing out that teenagers sometimes make adult-ish decisions so hey, let’s let them make decisions for other people is incredibly thin rationale for lowering the voting age.

    1. This puts me in mind of that study that came out some years ago that found that the brain functions of people like under the age of 23 weren’t fully developed and therefore teenagers were ultimately not responsible for their actions. Defense attorneys around the country jumped on this and NPR had several on claiming that The Science Was Settled, none of their clients were responsible for their actions.

      Yup, and it was bunk at the time. It was already well known even at that point that the largest/most dramatic (re)development the human brain undergoes is in women during pregnancy. So, arguably, until that point the female brain isn’t/can’t be fully developed. There are several very valid arguments to be made that the ability to exercise force over others should be restricted to (non-abortive) parents.

      Of course, even if you proposed the restriction to both sexes equally with or without regard to custody, you’d be guilty of effecting the Handmaid’s Tale.

      1. There seems to be an unfounded assumption here that further development of the brain is somehow related to desirability as a voter.
        I have a hunch that limiting voting only to mothers would not produce results that most of us here would like very much.

        And there is also the other side of the hill. People’s brains start to decline not too long after they are “fully developed”. Wisdom seems to come with the decline of cognitive ability. Maybe that’s what wisdom is. We can’t think as fast, so we develop heuristics to help see how things are.

      2. “There are several very valid arguments to be made that the ability to exercise force over others should be restricted to (non-abortive) parents.”

        So in other words my wife and I should lose our right to vote because we were unable to have children. We’re both in our 60s and have been voting for over 40 years, but by your logic our votes should never have been counted.

        1. I doubt his idea is going to get much traction.

        2. So in other words my wife and I should lose our right to vote because we were unable to have children. We’re both in our 60s and have been voting for over 40 years, but by your logic our votes should never have been counted.

          No. Those are not other words for what I wrote. “Basketballs should retroactively be painted orange.” is not other words for “There are very valid reasons why the color of basketballs should be restricted to orange.”

          Try rereading what I wrote only this time, imagine you aren’t a victim. Also, you should be cognizant of the fact that your projection can and does have greater implications with regard to desirability as a voter than my highly contextualized suggestions or assertions do.

  30. I think we should really just have age of majority and not, voting should not be separate from drinking, separate from military service, separate from whatever.

    What the age of Majority is very debatable. But I do believe that should be the major line drawn between most of these rights.

    1. The age of majority protects both the teenager and society. We can debate about what that age should be, but I don’t find it “unlibertarian” in any way to suggest we have one in civil society.

      1. That a maturity level to be considered an adult capable of making their own decisions should noncontroversial. Making it tied to age is always going to be an arbitrary choice on where exactly the line should be drawn. However, drawing a line at a certain gives it the virtue of an objective standard. I am not sure how else you do it that does not use a subjective standard which would entail potential for abuse.

  31. They should only get to vote if they promise to vote for Democrats. Obviously.

  32. The progtards are hoping that lowering the voting age will mean they get more votes from the gun grabbers and econutz, but this could easily backfire, especially if enough of them start voting for third party candidates at the expense of DEMs. It could be what is needed for a true libertarian moment. Then watch the dems call for raising the voting age back to 21.

  33. I don’t get why they shouldn’t.
    Just because they spend all that time underground digging doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the same rights as us surface normies.

    1. I was waiting for this joke.

    2. Just because they spend all that time underground digging doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the same rights as us surface normies.

      It should never be overlooked or forgotten that our nation has a long, sad history of discriminating and oppressing people based solely on the color of their lungs.

  34. Raise the age of majority back to 21 for all purposes. The idea that 18 year olds are adults was always stupid. Lowering the age was just a tactic for quieting the anti-Vietnam movement.

  35. I know we can’t have literacy tests. Discriminates against the minorities. And I know can’t have a property ownership requirement. It discriminates against the poor.

    But what simply denying the vote for anyone who receives a government check from the jurisdiction in question? Teachers could not vote in school board elections, but they could vote in state and national elections. Welfare recipients couldn’t vote in county elections, but they could vote in state and national. And military servicemen can’t vote in national elections but they could vote in state and local.

    Government needs to stop buying election results.

  36. Maybe we should stop thinking about voting as a right (which it isn’t), and start thinking about it as a civic responsibility, to be exercised in the same way an office holder is expected to execute his responsibilities. After all, the voter is being tasked with performing a function of government.

    That also makes qualification simple: anyone who isn’t fit to hold office isn’t fit to vote, either.

    1. Maybe we should stop thinking about voting as a right (which it isn’t), and start thinking about it as a civic responsibility, to be exercised in the same way an office holder is expected to execute his responsibilities. After all, the voter is being tasked with performing a function of government.

      It would be nice if it were more considered more of a protected act of free speech. So, if a majority of the electorate says a position should go unfilled, it goes unfilled. If the majority of voters are silent on the matter, the government has to figure out what to do without that decision being made one way or the other.

  37. Brilliant considering today’s eighteen year old is the emotional equivalent of a fourteen or fifteen year old of decades ago. The voting age really should be 21.

  38. Since most of California will soon be mail in vote what is to prevent parents from making their kids vote for who they want. also kids are stupid thats a fact and no they can’t have any job they want there are laws and a number of things you mentioned that they do are illegal and thus not a good judgment of what kids do do.

  39. “Perhaps it’s time we also let them vote.”

    Sure, as long as they also have the right to buy cigarettes, booze, and guns—and are treated as adults, with adult penalties, in all criminal cases.

    At 16 Beto was part of a hacking group called Cult of the Dead Cow and nicknamed “Psychedelic Warlord”. I can only imagine his criteria for voting.

  40. It should be tied to the drinking age. If you want to let them vote at 16, let them drink at 16.

  41. Voting should be more restrictive, not less. I would increase the age to at least 24 to keep out all of the college students. 18 is the new 10.

    1. I have to agree. It should return to 21, for sure.

    2. Better: You must be self-supporting to vote. Students should only be able to vote if they are able to either hold a job paying enough to live on, or to run a business on the side that makes enough to live on. Nor should they get the vote when they’re out of school, jobless, and living in their parent’s home or on welfare. OTOH, anyone who is self-supporting should be legally adult regardless of age.

  42. Two words: David Hogg

  43. Dammit Jim, I’m just country doctor, but working underground is no reason to deny a man the franchise…

  44. Funny how the left claims that a 16 year old is merely a “child” and is incapable of making rationale decisions if an 18 year old has sex with them but suddenly they are mature adults when it comes to voting. The left knows that most young people are easily swayed and are more likely to vote Democrat – that’s all this is about. Yet another left-pandering article from Reason.

    1. I don’t think you can pin age of consent and statutory rape laws on “the left”.

      1. Originally age of consent laws were about preventing young women from marrying without their parents’ permission, but, these days, the laws certainly have the enthusiastic support of the left.

      2. You can pin this obvious attempt to find more Democrat votes via these double-standard schemes.

        16 year olds cannot smoke, according to Lefties, but they should be able to vote.

        Its fucking stupid.

  45. I have come to believe for a while now that the voting age should actually be raised, say to 25. As the world we inhabit grows more complex, it takes longer to master any aspect of it — and that includes politics. The young adults of today are, relative to the society around them, more infantile than ever — even if in absolute terms their maturity levels are comprable to generations past.

    1. That said, I also suspect they are more infantile in absolute terms as well. It seems young adults are coddled and sheltered longer than ever before.

      1. Our society is schizophrenic about that. We veer back and forth between treating children and adolescents as if they were stupid and helpless, and expecting too much of them as if they were adults. We’ll arrest a mother for leaving her 11-year-old in the car unattended, and the next day arrest the kid as a “sex criminal” for “playing doctor” with a playmate.

  46. THINK! People. We don’t trust them to buy tobacco, we don’t trust them to drink alcohol, we barely trust them behind the wheel (as insurance rates testify) if colleges didn’t lower their standards to where they are now their hollowed halls would be all-but-empty…. I would be in favor of RAISING the voting age to at least 21. 24 would make even sense.
    The vast majority of children who marry before 24, end up divorced. Because they have not matured yet. Do you really want children directing your lives?

  47. I will say what I have said before about this. It seems like the people who want this are a lot of the same people who say that you should have to be 21 to drink and 21 (or older) to buy a firearm. If you think people are not responsible enough to drink or purchase a firearm until they are 21, then is it not at least somewhat hypocritical to say that people under 18 should be voting? Or is voting the place where they want less responsibility from the participants? I just want some consistency. If you are thought to be responsible at 16 or 18, then let them have responsibility for other major things.

  48. The vote should be earned. Full stop. It is not a right. Voting is a serious responsibility and far too many people take part as it is.

    First, only people who have contributed to society, and whom receive no government subsidy of any kind at all should be allowed to vote for any official in government whose power it is to legislate taxes, or divide the proceeds received. All who do so while benefiting financially from subsidy are thieves.

    Only people who have been members of the military should be allowed to vote for officials whose power it is to declare war or lead the military in said war. Voting to send little boys to war without yourself ever having been at risk therof is literally murder. Anyone who votes for President or the Senate who has no DD214 is a murderer.

  49. Citizens should have the right to vote their interests.
    That said, young citizens often rely upon their adult caretakers to forward their interests. So whoever is legally responsible for raising the child should proxy vote for the child.

  50. We should be talking about restricting the vote more, not expanding it. 95% of the reason our country is so dysfunctional is idiots being able to vote. The founders were smart enough to limit it to male landowners, which at the time was a proxy for being taxpayers and more likely to be responsible and educated. We could use a net tax payer rule and a civics/history test to do the same thing in a non discriminatory manner.

    Idiots voting will only ever get you bad laws…

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