Why this petition matters
I believe people age 16 and older should be able to vote in Moorestown Local Elections. One of our greatest achievements of our country is undoubtedly our democratic system of government. However true democracy requires our government to represent our entire population and as long as young people are being denied their right to vote, we do not have equal representation. As changing demographics favor older voters, the interests of young Americans are being displaced. We must act to ensure the next generation has a voice in the future of their country.
16 and 17 year olds are informed and ready to vote:
A recent scientific publication shows that requisite civic knowledge and political skill needed to vote are at the same level from ages 16 and 17 to 21. A study from Law and Human Behavior shows cold-cognition (a slow, deliberate, thought-out decision-making process) matures by 16.
16 and 17 year olds deserve the right to vote:
16 and 17 year olds work, pay income taxes, drive, in some cases can be tried as an adult in court, use public transportation and amenities, and spend 182 days a year in Moorestown Public schools.
Early voting will reinvigorate participation in democracy:
The U.S. in a study ranked 30 out of 35 countries in votes cast as a percentage of the voting age population. Young people are excited to vote and by creating voting habits early we are setting ourselves up for a more prosperous voting future. In places that have lowered the voting age to 16 the data shows, 16- and 17-year-olds have consistently turned out at higher rates than 18-20 year olds.
16 and 17 year olds can already vote in some places and the results look promising:
In Maryland 3 cities have lowered their voting age to 16: Takoma Park in 2013, Hyattsville in 2015, and Greenbelt in 2018. In the first election after change in Takoma Park the highest rate of voters among all age groups was 16 and 17 year olds. Hyattsville also had the same highest rates in that age group. Elected officials in these towns have since reached out to the youth and made real changes that were important to them.
The decisions made in our government today will have more of an impact on the future generation than they will have on the decision makers. Particularly the consequences of climate and budgetary decisions will always fall on a generation too young to vote. If we more closely examine who should have access to the ballot there is overwhelming evidence that 16 and 17 year olds can no longer in good consciousness be kept out of the conversation.
Campaign supported by Vote16 USA. See website for more general information, studies, reports etc. (http://vote16usa.org/).
Please sign below if you agree people age 16 and older should be able to vote in Moorestown Local Elections.