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Politicians in Oregon and California Want To Give 16- and 17-Year-Olds the Right To Vote

We trust young people to make a lot of weighty decisions. Voting should be one of them.

Plasticrobot/Dreamstime.comPlasticrobot/Dreamstime.comAn increasing number of state and local politicians have introduced legislation to extend the franchise to those younger than 18.

On Tuesday, Oregon State Sen. Shemia Fagan (D–Portland) introduced a bill that would amend the Oregon Constitution to allow those 16 and older to vote in local, state, and even federal elections.

"It's time to lower the voting age in Oregon and give young people a chance to participate at the ballot about decisions that affect their homes, their clean air and clean water future, their schools, and as we've seen, their very lives," said Fagan at a press conference announcing her bill.

A few weeks earlier, California Assemblyman Evan Low (D–San Jose) introduced a bill that would lower the Golden State's voting age for all elections to 17 years of age.

So far, 16-year-olds have only been given the right to vote in local elections in a few Maryland communities bordering Washington, D.C. Berkeley, California also allows 16-year-olds to vote in school board elections. There are a number of states that allow 17-year-olds to vote in party primaries provided they will be 18 by the general election.

Outside of these limited examples, under-18s remain disenfranchised. So far, efforts at changing that have come to naught.

Last year, lawmakers in Virginia, Minnesota, and New York introduced bills that would have lowered the voting age to 16, as did one member of the District of Columbia City Council. No bill made it out of committee.

The Statesman-Journal reports that proposals to lower the voting age have surfaced in 13 states since 2003, and all of them have failed.

Critics of the idea argue that 16-year-olds aren't mature enough to vote, and proposals to allow them to do so are cynical partisan ploys.

"16-year-olds are too young to enlist in the military, too young to own firearms, too young to own property, too young to enter into legal contracts, and too young to get married. But they are old enough to vote?" said Oregon Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr. (R–Grants Pass) in a statement to CNN. "This is nothing more than an attempt to expand the voter rolls to sway elections."

Baertschiger isn't wrong. Under-18s are routinely denied freedoms that 18-year-olds are given as a matter of course.

That includes not just military service and the ability to make contracts, but also more mundane liberties like being able to buy cigarettes or beer.

Many of the legislators who support lowering the voting age have been either silent about expanding other freedoms for teenagers, or in some cases, actively working to take more of those freedoms away from people.

Take D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen, who has supported both lowering the voting age to 16 and raising the District's smoking age to 21. It's a similar story in Oregon, where a number of co-sponsors on Fagan's voting age bill also supported a successful attempt to raise the Beaver State's smoking age to 21.

Often, the argument for letting 16- and 17-year-olds vote is not so much that they deserve a say in government, but rather that they are on the right side of the issues.

"They know that we have to take action urgently on issues like education funding, health care, climate justice and gun violence in particular. I'm also hearing a lot from 16- and 17-year-olds about the need for criminal justice reform and the need to stop mass incarceration," said one Oregon supporter of lowering the voting age.

Fagan said her bill was inspired by the pro-gun control activism of the Parkland students. Commentators like Stephen Colbert and Laurence Tribe have made similar, albeit off-the-cuff arguments for why we should lower the voting age.

That the loudest proponents of lowering the voting age are doing so for inconsistent or even cynical reasons doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong.

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are already allowed to make any number of weighty decisions for themselves, from where they want to work to (depending on the state) who they want to sleep with. Giving them the option of expressing a preference for a candidate or ballot measure doesn't sound like too much of a leap.

And while we might be afraid that a lot of high school students will have uninformed or ill-advised opinions, the exact same thing can be said for legions of adult voters. Indeed, libertarian critics of democracy like to argue that most or even all voters are hopelessly (if rationally) ignorant of the policy issues they're asked to decide. Teenagers are not necessarily dumber about the issues that affect them.

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  • MiloMinderbinder||

    Looking forward to the Reason editorial advocating voting rights for 16-year old Illegal Aliens.

  • ||

    Yeah, there is a libertarian argument for lowering the voting age. Christian, apparently, decided to go whole hog with the leftist one instead. But he did cite the fact that libertarians are critical of democracy, so both sides...

  • Tony||

    What alternative to democracy do libertarians propose? I've only been here a short time, so perhaps I missed the answer to that question.

  • Tu­lpa||

    Why would you want to change our system to a democracy?

  • Tony||

    I don't know, maybe because presumably native English speakers occasionally can't handle words with broad definitions?

  • Agammamon||

    If your word has a broad definition then the only purpose of that word is to mislead other people.

  • TJJ2000||

    The word REPUBLIC encapsulates the voting of legislators so it fits perfectly. The Democracy is used to do just as stated, "mislead the people".

  • Kelarjian||

    POINT!

  • ||

    What alternative to democracy do libertarians propose? I've only been here a short time, so perhaps I missed the answer to that question.

    You'd have to read Christian's link. It should be hard to find as it's labeled "libertarian critics of democracy" in bright orange.

    Off the cuff, you're even dumber than I suspected if you've been here as long as you have and haven't grasped the idea that anarcho-capitalists aren't somewhat intrinsically opposed to government of any form, including democracies.

  • Tony||

    But most of you aren't anarcho-capitalists, an absurd term by the way. What does it even mean? No government except all the stuff you need to protect your capital and your ability to acquire more capital? Ridiculous.

    There are those who simply want fewer government services that your average inhabitant of a modern, livable civilization, which I suppose would include whatever anarcho-capitalists are.

    At any rate, collective decisions will be necessary at some level, even at the bone-gnawing abject poverty horribleness you apparently think is the best of all worlds. And how does that work? Democracy means some form of majority rule, and everyone affected by the rule gets a stake.

    Even an ill-tempered aristocrat like Churchill could figure out that, whatever its flaws, it's better than the alternatives, all of which are forms of tyranny. I just wish you'd describe what form of tyranny it is you actually prefer.

  • ||

    But most of you aren't anarcho-capitalists,

    Which isn't the question you asked.

    No government except all the stuff you need to protect your capital and your ability to acquire more capital?
    ...
    I just wish you'd describe what form of tyranny it is you actually prefer.

    I see. Please explain further as to how you only fuck goats sarcastically.

  • Juice||

    No government except all the stuff you need to protect your capital and your ability to acquire more capital?

    In what way does protection of one's property require a coercive monopoly state?

  • Tony||

    In what way does protection of one's property require a coercive monopoly state?

    LOL. Libertarians. They hate government violence, so that's why they insist that government restrict itself to only those functions that require shooting and caging people.

  • Agammamon||

    No government except all the stuff you need to protect your capital and your ability to acquire more capital? Ridiculous.

    So you don't understand how those things can be - and once were - privately owned?

  • Agammamon||

    Democracy means some form of majority rule, and everyone affected by the rule gets a stake.

    It certainly doesn't mean everyone gets a stake. It can mean - and often does - that two wolves and a chicken are voting on what's for dinner.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Classic Tony. The motherfucker has been here like 10 years, and hasn't even bothered to read up on basic ancap theory.

  • Tony||

    On the contrary. It's simply that "ancap theory" is dumb and makes no sense.

  • Agammamon||

    How would you know? You've been here about as long as I have - two decades - and you still misrepresent basic libertarianism, let alone anarchy.

  • rferris||

    Voting is no guard against tyranny. Venezuelans still vote, but is it democracy??
    It is NOT about wanting fewer government"services" at all. It is about some of what government calls services are actually the opposite. Other than national defense and interference with their activities, what services do most citizens receive from the fed??? Most government services are state and local.
    Collective decisions??......like when the hive dwellers in our cities, who receive only one side of any issue, vote how their overseers have indoctrinated them to vote?? Is this the collective decision making you are referring to?? The only decisions being made are by the folks who manipulate the hive dwellers to achieve their desired result.
    A Republican form of democracy is the best so far, all the others are a form of mob rule where minorities get screwed.
    Collective societies , historically, have done the best at creating "bone-gnawing abject poverty horribleness" that only foolish people would want. That is how it works.

  • Juice||

    Yeah, there is a libertarian argument for lowering the voting age.

    There's also one for raising it.

  • Kelarjian||

    Give them time...

  • Rich||

    And while we might be afraid that a lot of high school students will have uninformed or ill-advised opinions, the exact same thing can be said for legions of adult voters.

    You've convinced me, Christian. Let's raise the voting age to 60.

  • ||

    If we reduced the power of government sufficiently, I'd accept that. :-)

  • Rich||

    Well, 60 could also be the minimum age to hold elective office.

  • DrZ||

    Right now the only requirements to hold office are senility at any age. It should be senility at 60 or older.

  • Paul J.||

    So 16-year olds should also be allowed to drink, right? And have sex with a partner of any age. And enter into credit card contracts or other debt.

  • SIV||

    And buy and carry firearms, and drive motor vehicles on public roads and enlist in the military, and run for and hold public office, and work full time in the timber,mining and manufacturing industries...

    I'm all for it but voting should only come with or after all the "real" rights are extended to those we now categorize as "children".

  • Seamus||

    And let's not forget that, since they're mature enough to exercise all these rights (which include voting for lawmakers who will run my life), their parents should be under no obligation to support them, and they should be tried as adults for their crimes (and be eligible for the death penalty for the most heinous ones, to the same extent 18-year-olds ate).

  • damikesc||

    And parents shouldn't be liable for their actions, right?

  • Ray McKigney||

    That's the thing. Minors can get out of any contract with impunity simply because of their age, because the law presumes that they're too easily imposed upon. The same reasoning should apply to voting.

  • BearOdinson||

    That the loudest proponents of lowering the voting age are doing so for inconsistent or even cynical reasons doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong.

    FFS, lets let 13 year olds vote. Are you seriously arguing that we should lower the voting ages? And yes, teenagers ARE dumber about the issues. Because they are notoriously short sighted. Particularly males. I agree that there is nothing magical about 18. But you can't possibly believe that increasing the number of people voting who have even less wisdom about life, and are even less likely to actually have to work at all (thus seeing what happens to their paychecks due to taxes) is good for liberty.

    This may not be peak derp, but it is close.

  • ||

    Are you seriously arguing that we should lower the voting ages?

    Bear, you're making a principled libertarian argument against a fundamentally unprincipled stance that tacitly waves to libertarianism as it careens off a cliff.

    That the loudest proponents of lowering the voting age are doing so for inconsistent or even cynical reasons doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong.

    As if 10+ yrs. of indoctrination weren't enough motivation to influence these kids to vote one way or the other they explicitly control these kids' futures via the public education system. There's little doubt about these methods as, not only are they reluctant to grant these kids other freedoms (besides voting) they have an overt willingness to further curtail these freedoms. It would pretty much be handing them a slave class with which to implement their explicit policy wishes, but, you know, some libertarians aren't on board with the whole democracy thing to begin with. So, new soviet man ahead Reason says.

  • Rat on a train||

    FFS, lets let 13 year olds vote.
    And allow them to hold all elected offices.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I dislike that argument that "X isn't a magical age" as well. One of the best indicators of good law is obvious application. All age requirements are somewhat arbitrary, but that does not mean picking and choosing something is a bad law. If you're going to have a law in place being easily applied and understood is one of the most important qualities.

  • Ray McKigney||

    We already have more than enough laws that are basically Delphic utterances meaning nothing until a judge tells us what they mean.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I agree. Very explicit cutoffs is the opposite of that.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Why have an age requirement in the first place? Put in place a test, and if you can pass it, you can vote. There is no reason a really smart 8 year old should not have the right to vote.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Because the tests are created by committee and have a lot of variance and bias cut in. The test can have a million variations and it opens up tremendous space for legal greyness.

    I don't mean to imply that my idea is perfect in a moral sense. Just that it's better law. The two should not necessarily be conflated.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Voting tests have previously been declared anathema.

  • H. Farnham||

    In the same vein, do you think a really stupid 35 year old should be denied the right to vote?

  • Jerryskids||

    Let 13-year olds vote? What have you got against 10-year olds or 6-year olds? If they have to live under the laws we pass, shouldn't they have a voice in what those laws are? Sure, they'll bear no responsibility for their decisions and liberty without responsibility is libertinism rather than libertarianism but whee! free shit for everybody!

  • H. Farnham||

    There should be a consistent age of majority for legal/civic purposes... and 18 seems about right. Children (16 and 17 year olds in this case) are wards of their parents/guardians and subject to a great deal of influence and coercion (I don't mean that in a negative sense, that's simply an aspect of parenting). Extending voting rights to those who are below the age of legal majority violates the principles of "one person one vote."

  • Fats of Fury||

    Fagan? Fagan was known for working with minors.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    How about a single stark divide?

    When you can
    -- pay your own rent
    -- file your own income tax return
    -- take responsibility for your own contracts

    Then you can vote.

    You choose when you want to be an adult. Choose carefully.

  • Fats of Fury||

    Those should be universal requirements regardless of age.

  • Rich||

    "The Court observes that the Defendant has given up xir right to be tried as a juvenile."

  • Agammamon||

    privilege. given up their privilege to be tried as a child.

    1. One can't give up rights.

    2. The right is to be tried as an adult. The privilege to be tried as a child is extended to some.

  • Rich||

    I was intending to use, um, Court-speak; but nice catch.

  • Sevo||

    No representation without taxation!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You choose when you want to be an adult.

    I agree, this is the best option. Get rid of arbitrary ages.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    I identify as a 17 year-old. Unfortunately, the girls over at the local high school don't recognize my right to be who I am.

  • Rat on a train||

    I'm age fluid, but oppressors won't accept who I am. They refuse to honor senior discounts.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    They identify you as a 17-year old, they just think you're totally skeezy and like no way would they like ever be seen with you. Like, my god, if their friends even saw them talking to you...

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Getting rid of arbitrary age cutoffs doesn't suddenly legalize statutory rape. It only makes the "borderline cases" less borderline.

  • BYODB||

    Statutory rape laws are arbitrary age cutoffs, so I don't follow your logic.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    If I'm 17, it's not statutory rape. Just sayin'.

    Also, note that one of the saviors of liberty that is proposing this also wants to raise the age for smoking to 21. He don't give a single shit about liberty, he's just trolling for votes.

  • Ymmarta||

    "Trans-age" will be a serious legal argument for pedophilia, probably within the next 5 years.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    This is a brilliant idea (that I have thought about for years).

    Those who wish for a nanny state, and vote for candidates and policies promising paternalistic comprehensive government clearly want to be children.

    And children are precluded from adult legal responsibilities. Why not preclude them from voting?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Right-wingers aren't going to like your proposed standard, Earth Skeptic.

    Adults recognize that the most telling indicator of a child (of any age) is a belief in fairy tales.

  • ||

    California doesn't allow people under 18 to consent to sex, but they want to let them vote?

    My home state, Indiana, believes those 16 or older can give consent. It's not exactly Germany, where the age of consent is 14. ["What is it, the Alabama of Europe?"]

  • loveconstitution1789||

    US Constitution, Article I, Section 4:
    The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

    Commifornia is in for a surprise. Congress gets a say in how Taxifornia regulates it voting procedures.

  • techgump||

    Nope. Bad idea. This comes from the same people who raised the age of smoking to 21, for the same reason as alcohol.
    So far as I'm concerned, raise the voting age to 21, as well as military enlistment... Not the other way.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    I agree the age of military enlistment or drafting age is the age of you have to right smoking,drinking voting and porn.

  • Juice||

    Yes, military age should be 21 at a minimum.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    I remember a quote from a movie on Thomas Jefferson that said " Liberty is not a toy for the adolescent mind, But a tool for the mature mind". Or something along those lines. But allowing those under the age of 18 is not about them having the maturity to vote but about stacking the voting booth with children being told who to vote for by their teachers. In truth the voting age should be raised to 23 -25 when the mind is physically finish developing. This kind of thing reminds me of Logan's Run the book. If you haven't read it it's a cheap book to get now and worth while, It talks a little about this type of thing.

  • MattXIV||

    Voting is an exercise of coercive power over others. To the extent it is permitted at all it should be carefully restricted to limit abuse.

  • MattXIV||

    I favor banning it altogether.

  • Rat on a train||

    No vote if you are a ward. That goes for children, the incarcerated and the mentally incapacitated. You can vote when you shed the ward status.

  • Tony||

    If you drink water or take a road, you're on the dole. Stop trying to destroy freedom.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Uh, some of us have water wells on our property.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And some of us have graded our own roads to our property.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|2.21.19 @ 6:03PM|#
    "If you drink water or take a road, you're on the dole. Stop trying to destroy freedom."

    Asinine statement from village idiot.

  • Agammamon||

    So, because the state has coercively prevented private provision - to the point that you will die - we're all eternally indebted to the company store?

    Its nice to see when you admit your support for slavery. You're very much a 'freedom is slavery' kind of guy.

  • Agammamon||

    But here's the other thing with that.

    If I'm *paying* for that water provision. If I'm *paying* for that road - how am I on the dole?

  • Rat on a train||

    You didn't build that.

  • Vernon Depner||

    If the government subdivision that built the road or operates the water system is running a deficit, then you didn't pay for it.

  • Agammamon||

    And in that situation is doesn't put me on the dole either.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Kinda goes hand-in-hand with the "nanny state" mentality

  • Bill E||

    "Fifteen or fight! Fifteen or fight!" (anyone here remember the source of that chant?)

  • Eddy||

    A dirty joke about a cheerleader and the football team?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    54-40

  • MattXIV||

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_in_the_Streets ?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Wild in the Streets?

  • Eddy||

    "(anyone here remember..."

    The Wikipedia article says it was from a movie popular with the 1960s counterculture. Anyone who watched it was probably using so many drugs they couldn't remember their name, much less key plot points.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Yeah. Last line in the movie; "We're putting everyone over 20 out of business".

  • ChuckNorrisBeardFist||

    " Charles Allen, who has supported both lowering the voting age to 16 and raising the District's smoking age to 21. It's a similar story in Oregon, where a number of co-sponsors on Fagan's voting age bill also supported a successful attempt to raise the Beaver State's smoking age to 21."

    Yeah! So they can vote but they can't decide what to put in their body! Based on student loans, they do a great job picking careers at that age. I mean they stick with one major...oh right.

    How about every 4 years, we give the US Citizenship test say like 20 questions. You pass it you can vote.

  • Demosthenes of Athens||

    Allowing kids to vote in school board elections?

    Teenager: "Are you for or against homework?"

    Candidate: "If I am elected there will be no more homework or tests!"

    Teenager: "You have my vote!"

  • Rockabilly||

    At that age, most are in public school socialist indoctrination camps.

  • ||

    Locked in to socialist indoctrination camps and, in the near term, free from the consequences of pretty much any policy decision they make.

    It's like advocating voting via Twitter.

  • Eddy||

    It could be worse, we could have a "national popular vote" for President, in which case all a state would have to do would be to manufacture new voters and their power in Presidential elections would be increased.

  • Rat on a train||

    manufacture new voters
    I call shenanigans. There is no way Wyoming had 500 million voters.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Sure, let teenagers vote. As long as they are net tax payers.

    And apply this requirement to everyone over 18.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    "Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are already allowed to make any number of weighty decisions for themselves."

    Yes, but voting involves making decisions for others

  • Ray McKigney||

    BURN

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    I think it's actually a good idea for Oregon and California. That way, Hillary can get even more votes and still fall short with the electoral college.

  • Juice||

    There needs to be one age of legal majority. After that age, you are considered by law to be a consenting adult able to make your own choices. So after that age you can vote, buy alcohol, cigarettes, go to a titty bar, join the military, or whatever it is that adults do that children aren't supposed to do. Everyone seems to be hung up about 18, so just make it that. If you want to make it 21, so be it, but if people under 21 can't buy alcohol, they can't vote either.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Age of consent, age of majority, whatever, has always been a state law issue. Just because a state here and there can (arguably) go off the rails does not mean we should ask a federal government populated with such as AOC and Kamala Harris to solve the problem for us.

  • Agammamon||

    We trust young people to make a lot of weighty decisions. Voting should be one of them.

    No. No we don't. Ever. We simply don't. In fact young people are *notorious* for making stupendously, life-wreckingly, bad decisions.

    . . . from where they want to work to (depending on the state)

    No state - none of them - allow under-18's to 'work where they want to work', unless they want to work where the state allows them to work. Go ahead - find an under-18 who'd be allowed to work the nightshift at the chicken plant. Or work the canals. Hell, find one that would be allowed to *deliver newspapers* at 4 in the morning. How about porn - no one under 18 is going to get within a hundred yards of a working porn set in any capacity.

    And today - people think you're still a kid even when you're in your mid-twenties.

    bad article is bad and you should feel bad

  • Sevo||

    In CA, the sponsor of the bill made the claim that he's sure he can get it to pass now that 'there's more Ds in the legislature'.
    That alone should tell you which party favors larger numbers of adolescent votes, and yes, that's intended as a pejorative.
    The party of immature decisions.

  • Eddy||

    That's not fair, they also want convicted felons to...wait, never mind.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The party of the immature vs. the party of elderly, stale-thinking, backwater bigots.

    Where is the hope for America?

    (Spoiler: It's been here all along, shaping more than a half-century of liberal-libertarian American progress.)

  • Hank Phillips||

    Lowering the voting age was the result of press gang enslavement of U.S. youth to bomb women, kids, houses and villages in the old French opium regie of Vietnam. "You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'" ran the refrain. Any 16-year old has more sense than elected communist Democrats or elected fascist Republicans. These States are already infamous for putting the age of consent closer to the age of mandatory socialized medicine than most other socialist States. Let 'em vote, just like they let women vote. That was not the end of the world either.

  • Brian Dixon||

    OK, let's get one thing straight: It's simply not true that a teenager's brain is somehow "undeveloped". That's a misinterpretation of scientific data inspired by ageist prejudice against the young.

    If you don't believe me, please read "The Myth of the Teen Brain" by psychology professor Robert Epstein.

    And if you really want your mind opened, have a look at the case for youth rights.

  • Sevo||

    "OK, let's get one thing straight: It's simply not true that a teenager's brain is somehow "undeveloped". That's a misinterpretation of scientific data inspired by ageist prejudice against the young."

    You may claim as you please and cite books to back that claim. But having been a teen, and watching others at the time and since, whether teen's brains are 'underdeveloped' or not, they simply make boneheaded decisions. I really don't care what you chose to call it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Our government has a lot of problems with it, but none of them will be solved by bringing in more voters at lower ages. Ultimately, the problem with our government is in the heads of the voters who support socialist and authoritarian solutions to our problems. Picking better politicians by enlarging the voter pool isn't the solution if the problem is what's in the voters' heads. We don't need better politicians. We need better voters. Persuade me that the kids between 16 and 18 years-old are better at critical thinking than the average voter, and I might be persuaded that children should be allowed to vote.

  • DenverJ||

    Under-18s are routinely denied freedoms that 18-year-olds are given as a matter of course.

    That includes... liberties like being able to buy cigarettes or beer.

    Are there any states that still allow 18 yr olds to drink? I'm pretty sure they all changed the age to 21 in the late 80s when the federal government blackmailed them with highway funds.

  • esteve7||

    Horseshit, either you are an adult capable of making your own decisions, or you are not. These leftists don't actually believe in more freedom, they just want more democrats.

    If you're old enough to join the military, you should be able to vote, drink, smoke, and use a plastic straw.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The only reason 18 year olds got the vote was because 18 year old *men* were subject to the draft and being blown to bits without being able to vote.

    Then we ended the draft in a couple of years.

    Now you can be on Mommy's health insurance until you're 26.

    Clown Country.

  • perlchpr||

    Thus, the voting age should rise to 26.

  • Rich||

    Excellent.

  • Ymmarta||

    At what age can parents throw the moochers out?

  • Rat on a train||

    26?

  • Nardz||

    And prior to 1 (year?) in NY...

  • Rat on a train||

    Abortion should be legal to at least the 75th trimester.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Because the current electorate is just *way* too informed, and we need more voters who have never taken even a high school American History class, or supported themselves financially, or paid income taxes.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are already allowed to make any number of weighty decisions for themselves, from where they want to work to (depending on the state) who they want to sleep with. Giving them the option of expressing a preference for a candidate or ballot measure doesn't sound like too much of a leap. "

    Voting is not "expressing a preference", it is pointing government guns at your neighbor.

    They are *allowed* to make many decisions *for themselves*. Voting is making decisions for *other people*.

    Reason really is such a clown show these days.

    All is explained. I checked the picture of the author. He looks 12.

  • perlchpr||

    He *is* 12.

  • Nardz||

    "Voting is not "expressing a preference", it is pointing government guns at your neighbor."

    Exactly

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Disaffected wingnuts are among my favorite faux libertarians.

    Which of you guys is Christopher Hasson?

    (Trump won't mention Hasson, so some of you goobers will need to look it up.)

  • esteve7||

    "When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force, my friends, is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBxgrr0wL8M

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    But not the right to smoke or drink or have sex.

    Blow.

  • KBeckman||

    Okay, fair enough. Don't want to lower the voting age to 16 then I guess they shouldn't have to pay taxes.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    Of course liberal states want younger voters. Those kids are too young and stupid to realize they've been lied to and brainwashed by extreme liberalism and ignorance of the Constitution.

    So it clearly benefits Democrats to get them voting.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    And get as many votes out of them as possible before the effects of being in the government indoctrination camps wears off.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Something like the motivation that causes Republicans to try to prevent blacks from voting?

    Carry on, clingers. So far as stale thinking can carry anyone in the modern world, that is.

  • TJJ2000||

    I have no problem with freeing the "Children of the State" -- but that would include giving them FULL adult responsibility and rights at said age. Anything short of that is just age based Gerrymandering.

    At "said" age they should be out of "State Indoctrination School" (or abolish State Indoctrination Schooling altogether)..

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    You used to be moderately interesting but now are simply the most wearisome troll on the site.

  • JoeB||

    Yes, because conservatives and libertarians are all about oppressing wise and deliberative 16-yr olds.

    Your opinion is as transparent (and as weight) as air.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why only 16

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The goal here is to maximize the percentage of the population who are easily manipulated and lack normal rights, but none the less can vote. Same principle as restoring the vote, and no other right, to felons.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I support restoring all rights to ex-felons who have completed their sentences but as you say, the Lefties don't want ex-cons to have their gun rights back just voting rights to vote Democrat.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Since Lefties want 16 year olds to vote, the 16 year olds don't need to be on their parents health insurance until they're 26 anymore.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Since Lefties want 16 year olds to vote, the 16 year olds can buy cigarettes, alcohol, and that be the Age of Consent?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties are so desperate that they need 16 and 17 year olds to beat Trump.

    MAGA!

  • Uncle Adolf’s Gas and Grill||

    Sure thing. Because every time we expand the franchise, our quality of government has improved exponentially. Right? Right? I mean, who needs Thomas Jefferson when you can have Jimmy Carter?

  • Max S.||

    How about have everyone who votes including the new enfranchised 16 and 17 year olds pass the Citizenship Civics and History test?

  • Eddy||

    They'd screw it up.

    1) Hitler was a
    (a) Conservative
    (b) Progressive
    (c) Libertarian

    (Any answer but "b" will do)

    2) The U. S. was saved from the Depression by the __________ Party.
    (Answer: Democratic)

  • TJJ2000||

    HEADLINE: The CA and OR "mob" are accepting membership applications from 16 & 17 Year Olds.
    *Never-mind that this is just Age based Gerrymandering to launch a Democratic Revolution and destroy the Republic.

    Fine; So long as EVERY single piece of legislation goes through a Constitutional Court with !!!HONORABLE!!! Constitutional Justices (Scalia being a good example).

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Absolutely NOT!
    OK, you don't like that answer, how about this one:

    To register to vote, an American Citizen has to PASS the same test that is given to immigrants wishing to become Naturalized Americans!

  • Barry soetaro||

    Since children's brains aren't fully developed at 16, I can see why demsocialists love the idea of kids voting.
    The idea that 16 or 17 year old kids need to vote because "we trust them with other decisions such as sex" is idiotic on the face of it. The incidence of venereal disease (old judgemental word) among the young should give a clue just how mature most really are.

  • Spookk||

    But of course they will still continue to prosecute these same folks for having sex.

  • JoeB||

    Oh, the list of weighty decisions made by 16 and 17-yr olds I could make..! Ridiculous. The voting age needs to get back up, at least to 20. Left-wing academia has ruined the 18 and 19 yr olds. Better yet, let only property-owning citizens vote.

  • mjs_28s||

    18 years old is already too low these days.

    In the 1940s or farther back 18 was good but today people mature slower just due to the world that is out there. Cripes, we have a government that made it so that kids can be on parent's insurance until they are 26 goddamn years old.

    By age 26 by grandmother had been married for 12 years, been running a household and working the farm while my grandpa (17 when he married grandma who was 14) worked at a gas station as a mechanic AND worked the farm.

    Anyone even able to fathom a high school junior and a high school freshman able to marry, buy a home, the wife working the farm and running the household while the husband worked a job at a gas station and also worked the farm at home.

    That said, just from a development stand point, the human brain on average, is not fully formed until the early to mid 20's. Meaning that the further from fully developed your frontal lobes are the further you are from being able to do proper risk assessment while likely also lacking some impulse control. A goddamn teenager these days can't even comprehend life next year and those ass-wipe politicians want to make it so they can vote?!?

    What vote do you think is easiest to buy? That of the person who cannot see tomorrow, has less impulse control and is easy to buy-off with "free" this and that? Or the 25 year old that has some life experience on his or her own (in most cases at least no longer at home), worked for a number of years, paid taxes, etc.

  • skeptic||

    If you are not old enough to make a decision for yourself like consenting to a nude photo, then how can you be old enough to vote? Whatever is the age for adulthood, it needs to be consistent across the board.

  • Harold||

    Oh He!! NO!!! I recently had a job working around college students. HOW EMBARRASSING!!! of course they are too clueless to feel embarrassment!

    NO! The WILLFUL [The NEA and Dept. of UNeducation did it on PURPOSE!] dumbing down of American education has worked. We know that because of the unenlightened TWITS falling all over A irhead O n C all & BETO!!!

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    I think a good idea is to harmonize voting age with the highest of the other age restrictions. Therefore, since the drinking age is 21, then no one should vote until they're 21. Want to lower the voting age, then lower all other personal choice prohibitions to match - drinking, smoking, sex, etc.

    It'll never happen, and desire to grant the young ones more freedom notwithstanding, it would be a good thing if they couldn't vote until 21.

  • El Kabong||

    So long as we all undrstand that if there were even a hint that teenagers were rejecting identity-politics liberalism, articles like this would -poof!- disappear as if by magic, to be replaced by long screeds pushing major new leftist-run "re-education initiatives" for the poor children, as if all human life itself depended upon them pulling down the correct levers in the voting booth..

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