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YOUNGEST VOTING AGE SHOULD BE 16

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Currently in the United States, the youngest age you can be to vote is 18. Many believe it is the perfect age to begin voting, but others believe the youngest voting age should be dropped. 

The youngest voting age should be 16 to give more representation and opportunities for younger people to vote. 

There are many reasons why voting should be lowered and allowed for 16-year-olds. Firstly, by starting teenagers off voting at 16, we are starting to make a habit. By them starting to vote younger, they are learning what they might want in the government, and are also learning how to properly and responsibly vote. Through experience, by the time these teenagers are 18, they will be more well-experienced and knowledgeable than 18-year-olds starting to vote now. Also, things that are being voted on directly affect 16 and 17-year-olds. Most 16 and 17-year-olds can drive, work, pay taxes for working, and sometimes are tried in adult courts. According to Vote16USA, “They also work without limits on hours and pay taxes on their income, can drive in most states, and in some cases, are tried in adult courts. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds deserve the right to vote on issues that affect them on the local level. Further, voting is the most reliable way for ordinary citizens to influence the government.” If the government lowers the voting age, they would be forced to listen to 16 and 17-year-olds’ concerns about these topics that are directly affecting them. 

Many people believe that 16 and 17-year-olds are too young to vote and don’t have enough experience. They also see them as immature or not well-educated enough. Although some teens are not as well-educated, there is still an overall majority who would be capable of voting. A study done by Vote16USA showed that those who are under 18 still had the same political knowledge and understanding capabilities as those 18 and a couple of years older. There is not much difference between those who are 18 and 16 when it comes to voting knowledge and political understanding. 

There is much that needs to be changed within this. Firstly, those who are 16 and 17 and want to vote should start to protest or speak their opinions to make others see their points. With more awareness, the government could consider lowering the voting age. The only overall thing that can change is the voting age, which would give older teens more opportunities to have a say in the United States. 

All things considered, 16 and 17-year-olds should get an equal opportunity to represent their beliefs. Not only is this important, but it also provides more representation to more age groups. Allowing this, would be a huge advantage for the voting process and would get more people to vote from a younger age. 

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About the Contributor
Lexie Hanna, Opinion Writer
Lexie is a senior at Struthers High School. She is an opinion writer in Journalism I. Lexie’s favorite subject is either English or science. Her favorite food is chicken tenders with honey mustard, and she loves the color green. Lexie’s favorite artist is Brent Faiyaz. She plays varsity tennis and is a varsity cheerleader. She also is a L.I.N.K crew member and vice president of National Honor Society. Outside of school, she likes to hang out with her friends and family.  Lexie loves to write which is why she thoroughly enjoys journalism. Her expectations for the year is to maintain her 3.9 G.P.A and stay on track to be salutatorian. She also hopes to graduate with honors and attend Bowling Green State University to major in forensic science.  Lexie is mostly excited for her last prom and basketball season. She is also excited to make more memories with all of her friends here and overall just enjoy her last year at Struthers. 
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