Lower the voting age to 16 for Palo Alto school board elections

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Vote16 Palo Alto
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Students in Palo Alto are affected by decisions made by the Board of Education every day, from our class curriculum, bell schedule and attendance policies to the overall goals for our school district. Allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections will force candidates to listen to and address the concerns of those who are impacted by their policies: the students. 

Young people are affected by local political issues just as much as anyone. In most states, 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to drive, work and pay taxes, and in some cases can even be tried in adult courts. Research shows that they are intellectually ready to vote responsibly, as the average 16-year-old possesses the same level of civic knowledge as 21-year-olds. 

A lower voting age can increase long-term voter turnout, encourage more effective civic learning, and allow students to have a voice in decisions involving their own education. Lowering the voting age to 16 for local elections is a policy change that works; it has already been passed in nearby Berkeley, as well as implemented in multiple cities in Maryland.

Vote16 Palo Alto is a youth-led organization aiming to empower students by giving 16- and 17- year olds a voice in local school board elections. 

Please sign this petition to lower the voting age to 16 for school board elections in Palo Alto.