November 5th marked a day where many citizens took to the polls to election local officials. The day was particularly memorable for those in Takoma Park, Maryland, as the city became the first in the U.S. to lower the voting age to 16 in municipal elections.
In Takoma Park, the results were modest but promising: 17 percent of residents aged 16-17 voted in the election, twice the turnout rate for residents 18 and over. More than 40 percent of registered 16 and 17-year-olds voted, whereas only about 10 percent of older registered voters went to the polls.
The election changes took place on the heels of recommendations made by the Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge’s report “All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement.”
There is still more testing to be done in order to gauge the full effects of lower the voting age, the report insinuates that the move comes with great advantages.
According to its findings, lowering the voting age comes with great advantages: young people can register in schools, teachers can encourage them to vote and they can lead valuable discussions about the issues in their civics of government classes.
Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
If so, what are the gains/drawbacks?
Sound off below!