By Jon Dougherty
One policy proposal offered by Democrats in recent months is to lower the voting age to 16, a move they say will ‘re-enfranchise’ young people, many of whom are already working and paying taxes.
But the plan has hit a giant brick wall in terms of gaining widespread public support — as in, it hasn’t.
A Hill-HarrisX poll unveiled last week showed that fully three-quarters (75 percent) of registered voters surveyed do not want to allow 17-year-olds to vote. And when it came to 16-year-olds, the figure against rose to 84 percent, according to The Hill.
The plan was added as an amendment in March to a House Democrat-sponsored bill to overhaul voting laws in the U.S. The proposal was defeated soundly defeated 305-126 but was nevertheless supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
“I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16. I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school when they’re interested in all of this when they’re learning about the government to be able to vote,” she said at the time, as reported by Real Clear Politics.
Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang has also voiced his support for lowering the voting age in America.
“(B)ecause of election cycles, there’s a level of unfairness that comes with what year a person is born. Senators are on a six-year cycle, and the president is on a four-year cycle, not to mention local offices,” his campaign website notes in arguing for lowering the voting age to 16.
“Someone born at the wrong time in a cycle would have to wait much longer to cast a ballot for certain offices than someone born at another time.”
As expected, those who support lowering the voting age the most are the youngest Americans. The survey noted that of voters aged 18-34, 39 percent said they would support letting 17-year-olds vote and 27 percent supported letting 16-year-olds vote.
Notably, support for allowing teens to vote at a younger age dropped the older the age group in the survey sample got.
Almost as if a greater amount of life experience teaches us what a lousy idea this really is.
Nevertheless, some Democrats are clinging to the proposal.
A Rasmussen Reports poll from March showed 17 percent of likely voters supported letting 16-year-olds vote while 74 percent opposed the idea.
The idea has been proposed in far-Left Oregon but faces opposition, CNN noted.
“Sixteen-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 Senate Republican leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. in a statement.
“People are not legally considered adults in this country until they are 18 years old, and I believe they shouldn’t be able to vote until then either.”
“This is nothing more than an attempt to expand the voter rolls to sway elections,” he added.
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