One small Vermont town might be taking a big step towards including teens in politics.
Brattleboro, Vermont took a cue from resident Kurt Daims, who says that teens should be allowed to voice their votes, too. So, the city is letting their residents decide on a ballot measure that would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to cast their own votes during local (not federal or state) elections.
There’s no doubt that young people are interested in politics — just look at how President Obama’s election was majorly influenced by the youth vote in 2012! Lowering the age to 16, even just for local elections, would give interested teens the chance to have their voices heard and become personally politically active while they’re still in high school. Plus with social media keeping us constantly updated on local, national and international issues, teens today have more opportunities than any generation before to stay in the know.
This isn’t the first time people have talked about updating the voting age. The conversation has been going on for a long time, and it’s definitely gaining momentum now that the United Kingdom is debating lowering its age to 16. In fact, Scotland recently allowed 16 and 17-year-olds to vote, and guess what? A ton of them of did! Also, plenty of countries in Europe and South America already allow younger teens to vote.
We’ll find out Tuesday if Brattleboro residents will support this measure — and we sure hope so, because teens deserve to take part in community affairs. If we want to empower youth to get involved with their communities in a real way, letting them vote would be a step in the right direction.
(Image via here.)