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A really good Op-Ed! Should 16 year olds be able to vote?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Okay folks, please read the article before you post.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/op...ml?ref=opinion

I have to say she brings up some REALLY good points. I'd love it if 16 year olds took a Civics class before they could register. That would be fantastic!
post #2 of 26
That certainly bears some consideration! My recent secretary is only 16yo but worked full time for me and her contributions to our political discussions were impressive
Alas, in our office, many clients recieve their wages in cash & pay us in cash, and her yielding to the temptation to mismange those payments led to our having to let her go - at 16yo, the mindset can still fluctuate, altho, I graduated hs at 17 & worked full time and no way would I ever have stolen
Back to the subject, I would have no objections if there were strict enough qualifications required. There are many adults who I know are selecting candidates simply on the advertised hype, or their supposed "religious" backgrounds, although they don't even bother to study and compare voting records or even just to read each candidate's website spiel on the various issues IMO, the teens are probably just as likely if not more, to research, debate & consider actual facts
GOOD POST
post #3 of 26
But, but, I thought teenagers brains were not developed enough to vote, enlist, drink or drive.

Not trying to be smart here, but I don't think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote, they are WAYYY to immature IMO.
post #4 of 26
I keep on thinking of the voting on american idol when Sanjaya was a contestant!!
A small few might be mature enough to vote but lowering the voting age its a no for me.
The same with credit cards and teenagers they might be thinking they are learning financial responsibilities but what about saving instead of spending??
post #5 of 26
I think it's a fantastic idea. I think when you're old enough to pay taxes, you ought to be old enough to vote. A lot of teenagers are way more politically in-tune and active than most adults that I know, and it's frustrating not to have a say. I remember being 17 when Bush got "elected" (coughcough) the first time, and being upset that I didn't have the chance to put my .02 in. I was definitely knowlegable and interested enough to have voted, and so were my friends.

I don't really like the idea of a civics test, though, to get a voting "permit." It hearkens back a little too strongly to the days of yore, when they had literacy tests, etc. to restrict the voting rights of African Americans. I think it's dangerous ground upon which to be re-treading.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
But, but, I thought teenagers brains were not developed enough to vote, enlist, drink or drive.

Not trying to be smart here, but I don't think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote, they are WAYYY to immature IMO.
I have too agree ... the frontal lobe of the brain ( the one with things like impulse control is still develping: actually rapidly at 16)... FYI the human brain stops the develping process at about 25 yrs old ..

I prefer to have them take civics and not vote or drive till 18

the pay taxes is great but in half of our great land many have jobs that take taxes at 13-15 yrs old
post #7 of 26
Since the editorial mentioned learners' permits, and many states have a so-called "junior driver's license", how about "junior voting rights" for 16- and 17-year-olds, which would allow them to vote in local elections, before moving up to state or federal elections at 18?
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Since the editorial mentioned learners' permits, and many states have a so-called "junior driver's license", how about "junior voting rights" for 16- and 17-year-olds, which would allow them to vote in local elections, before moving up to state or federal elections at 18?
I think that adults might be a bit nervous if that happens. Local elections include school boards. School boards run schools. If 16 year olds voted they could potentially put an 18 year old on there and he or she could do "horrible" things.

Please note the use of sarcasm.
post #9 of 26
No - but it wont' hurt for them to start getting to know politics so that they can be a more informed voter in the future.

I feel that there are far too many immature 16 yrs old that would not take voting seriously. Even when adults - there are a ton out there that don't take it seriously!
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaete View Post
I think it's a fantastic idea. I think when you're old enough to pay taxes, you ought to be old enough to vote. A lot of teenagers are way more politically in-tune and active than most adults that I know, and it's frustrating not to have a say. I remember being 17 when Bush got "elected" (coughcough) the first time, and being upset that I didn't have the chance to put my .02 in. I was definitely knowlegable and interested enough to have voted, and so were my friends.

I don't really like the idea of a civics test, though, to get a voting "permit." It hearkens back a little too strongly to the days of yore, when they had literacy tests, etc. to restrict the voting rights of African Americans. I think it's dangerous ground upon which to be re-treading.

But yesterday people said teen agers brains were not developed enough to enlist, etc etch. Seems to me like this is just a way for mom and dad to get a few extra votes.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
I think that adults might be a bit nervous if that happens. Local elections include school boards. School boards run schools. If 16 year olds voted they could potentially put an 18 year old on there and he or she could do "horrible" things.

Please note the use of sarcasm.
Good point about elected school boards. Minors could potentially put an 18- or 19-year-old on the board, but such a school board member might have a better idea of what school is like nowadays than one who graduated 30 years ago, and could offer some perspective.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
But yesterday people said teen agers brains were not developed enough to enlist, etc etch.
But that's different! Yesterday those people were justifying the tactics of Code Pink in trying to stop young men and women from joining the Marines. This is a totally different issue, maturity doesn't matter now.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Good point about elected school boards. Minors could potentially put an 18- or 19-year-old on the board, but such a school board member might have a better idea of what school is like nowadays than one who graduated 30 years ago, and could offer some perspective.
I have a feeling that if an 18 or 19 year old was on a school board then we adults would have a better understanding of what the high school kids need. We think we know, but I don't think that we really do.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by catcaregiver View Post
But that's different! Yesterday those people were justifying the tactics of Code Pink in trying to stop young men and women from joining the Marines. This is a totally different issue, maturity doesn't matter now.

I agree - it's not the same. Unfortunately maturity does not always come with age and vice-versa. I've seen some 16 year olds who have more common sense and maturity than some 30 year olds I've known. I do, however, think that 16 may be just too young to vote.

As for voting, I think a lot more of our younger folks are more knowledgeable and have done more research on candidates and issues that many older folks and many of those older folks don't even bother to vote but sure can sit around and complain about who gets elected.
post #15 of 26
They did have some good point, but would they? I know plenty of people my age who simply don't care about politics or think they can't make a difference so why bother. Yes it drives me crazy but when the candidates are only talking about health care or social security, it's kind of hard for 20 somethings to take notice.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I agree - it's not the same. Unfortunately maturity does not always come with age and vice-versa. I've seen some 16 year olds who have more common sense and maturity than some 30 year olds I've known. I do, however, think that 16 may be just too young to vote.

As for voting, I think a lot more of our younger folks are more knowledgeable and have done more research on candidates and issues that many older folks and many of those older folks don't even bother to vote but sure can sit around and complain about who gets elected.
I'm sitting here wondering if you intentionally misinterpreted my post or if you just didn't get the sarcasm lol. My point is that you can't argue that 16 year olds are mature enough to vote but 18 year olds aren't mature enough to choose whether or not to enlist in the military (because brains don't finish developing until we reach the age of 20 IIRC). I don't see how you can have it both ways.
post #17 of 26
16 year olds should not even be allowed out if the house for anything more then school and part time job.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
16 year olds should not even be allowed out if the house for anything more then school and part time job.
Are you a "chain them in the basement until they turn 30" parent?
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
16 year olds should not even be allowed out if the house for anything more then school and part time job.
The next time you travel to the Far East, how about if you arrange a layover in Germany, so that you can make that statement as a "guest speaker" at my school? My students would eat you alive!
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Are you a "chain them in the basement until they turn 30" parent?
duct tape is cheaper

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
The next time you travel to the Far East, how about if you arrange a layover in Germany, so that you can make that statement as a "guest speaker" at my school? My students would eat you alive!
see, that is what happens when you let them out.
i will bring lots of extra duct tape

oh yea, i thought you wanted me to meet your ghost also
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I've seen some 16 year olds who have more common sense and maturity than some 30 year olds I've known.
Same here!.

With regards to voiting.....No!
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
But yesterday people said teen agers brains were not developed enough to enlist, etc etch. Seems to me like this is just a way for mom and dad to get a few extra votes.
I never said that teenager's brains weren't developed enough to enlist. I don't think that students who are still in high school should be allowed to enlist, because their education comes first. But high school graduates? No problem there. It's their decision to make.

And as for mom and dad getting extra votes, I can guarantee you that my political views at 16 were a far cry from my parents'.
post #23 of 26
I don't think this article was saying giving Carte Blanc to 16 year olds to vote. It was saying giving this privilege to those individuals who participate in programs that will create intelligent responsible voters.

Someone commented on kids just having extra votes for their parents. Hopefully that would not happen, as a properly constructed program would teach the importance of thinking for oneself. Listening to the issues and where the candidates stand. Of course this assumes that issues are actually discussed by the candidates

Even if they were not allowed to vote in the real election, they should have mock elections and compare their school or district results to what the nation did.

I like the credit idea as well. Credit/Debit cards are the way the future is going. We rarely see our currency anymore. This creates an environment where it is very easy to overspend. No such thing as opening an empty wallet anymore and seeing there is nothing left to spend. Teaching them the value of money, the danger of credit and how to be financially responsible will include the concept of saving.

Kids are going to need this type of education. Heck, most adults in the US need this type of education.
post #24 of 26
I don't think most 16-year-olds are mature enough to vote. Teenager's view on world is often very black and white, and they are very easily convinced with slogans and over-generalizations. More education on the other hand would be great everywhere.

BTW, I really don't think 16-year-olds should be allowed to handle tons of fast moving metal either.
post #25 of 26
I'm not ready to allow 16-year-olds the right to vote. I do not believe that they have the maturity as a group to make informed decisions (though to be fair, there are also 45-year-olds that have the judgment ability of a gnat). We are severely restricting their driving privileges as more of them do impulsive stupid things behind the wheel. The legislature here is also revisiting the push to try them as adults as they may have diminished capacities to really understand what they are doing.

Also, 16-year-olds do not have an investment in the community by paying rent or owning property. So a mill-levy increase doesn't really affect them.

I think they should be taught civics through school elections and can get involved in the election process without being able to vote.

Also, I would wonder about the constitutionality of a law where a citizen had to earn the right to vote. The fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection under the law.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by catcaregiver View Post
I'm sitting here wondering if you intentionally misinterpreted my post or if you just didn't get the sarcasm lol. My point is that you can't argue that 16 year olds are mature enough to vote but 18 year olds aren't mature enough to choose whether or not to enlist in the military (because brains don't finish developing until we reach the age of 20 IIRC). I don't see how you can have it both ways.
Actually, I don't believe I was arguing any of those points since I didn't comment directly on your post.

But, for clarification, I do not think 16 year olds should vote. I do believe kids should at least finish high school before enlisting. Often they get a good education in the armed forces that their parents may not be able to afford otherwise. During WWI and WWII there were many young men of 18 (and some much younger who lied about their age to enlist) who signed up to fight for your and my freedom and who gave up their lives for us. As for brains finishing developing at 20, well, I again think that some will attain maturity before 20 and others not even at 45 so I personally believe that's a moot point.
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