Seventeen-Year-Olds Push For Their Rights To Vote

kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop)/ BY-NC-SA

According to the The Wall Street Journal article, Teen Spirit Spurs Bill to Lower Voting Age, teens want to change the voting age to seventeen years old instead of the current age of eighteen. The state lawmakers in Mass. are trying to decide if this idea should turn into a bill and go on the ballot in 2013.

Teens at Lowell High School saw their electives disappear after huge budget cuts. Many felt upset and like they had no control over the situation. That’s where the Vote 17 idea came from.

Peter Levine, the director of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, said in the Times article, “It could be that 18 is quite a bad year to be the first year to be eligible to vote.” He gives reasons like going off to college and moving locations.

I’m an example of a young adult in a dilemma. I’m an 18-year-old and I recently graduated from high school. My college classes start [soon] and I’m having a hard time moving closer to school so I won’t have to commute. Voting is just not one of my priorities.

I agree with Levine that 18 really isn’t an age where people want to vote. As a freshman in college I don’t pay as much attention to what is going on in our government. If seventeen was the legal age to vote, I would have registered last year when I was more committed to change.

I would also be more inclined to vote at a younger age because while I was in mandatory social science and government classes in high school, I was encouraged to come up with my own ideas and opinions about what political party I agree with. But I felt powerless because I didn’t have the right to vote at all. Classes makes many youth excited to make a difference in their communities.



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