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Pledge Your Support for Lowering the Voting Age in Local Elections

This petition had 487 supporters

As the millennial generation transitions into leadership roles in society, now is a critical time to rejuvenate our democracy through new, bold ideas that spark excitement and participation in politics. Research indicates that lowering the voting age has the potential to reinvigorate our democracy and stimulate lasting increases in political participation.

We must lower the voting age for local elections to 16 because:

  • Lowering the voting age can drive demand for better civic education in schools, and the combination of a lower voting age and better civics education can create a virtuous cycle that dramatically boosts civic engagement.
  • Lowering the voting age can increase voter turnout and strengthen our democracy in the long run, as voting is habitual and statistics show that age 16 is a better time than 18 to acquire the habit of voting.
  • Sixteen- and 17-year olds can drive in most states, work and pay taxes on their income, and are sometimes tried in adult courts. Further, local decisions made by mayors, city councils, and school boards have great influence on the lives of 16- and 17-year-olds. They deserve to vote, and research shows they are mature enough to do so.
  • The most reliable way for citizens to influence the government is through their votes, but those under 18 are unfairly excluded from the electorate. Letting 16- and 17-year-olds vote in municipal elections would force local politicians to listen to their voices.

Lowering the voting age in local elections will help cultivate a new generation of active and engaged citizens, and ensure that young people are fairly represented in local politics.


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