Michigan Voting Age Reduced to 16?
Last April I wrote about the Washington District of Columbia (D.C.) council wanting to actually allow 16 and 17 year olds the ability to vote in federal and local elections at the young age of 16.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that now Democrats in the Michigan House and Senate have introduced a bill this week in the Michigan Legislature that would change the voting age in Michigan to 16.
State Senator David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights was quoted in the article saying:
We allow 16-year-olds to go off and get jobs and pay taxes, but we fail to allow them to exercise their voice come election time…Young people are setting aside their differences and identifying issues they think need to change. And they can do everything to get that change except vote.
Yes Senator Knezek some of us do encourage our 16 and 17 year olds to get part time jobs and yes you do make them pay taxes. Does that mean they are mature enough to vote?
The question I have is; should U.S. citizens of such a young age be able to vote? Do they have the mental capacity to make mature, well-informed decisions and understand all of the consequences that will occur if they are allowed to vote? At such young ages most of their decisions are made by emotion and not intellect. They just do not have the intellect in most cases to make that informed decision.
Today the same people who believe that children under the age of 18 have the mental capacity to make mature, well-informed decisions and understand all of the consequences to their vote do not have the mental capacity to make mature, well-informed decisions and decide if they want to smoke, drink alcohol, have sex, buy a gun or join the military. The question is why they believe they are mature enough to vote, how do the supporters of this bill make that distinction?
Some would state that there are plenty of U.S. citizens who do not have the mental capacity to make mature, well-informed decisions and understand all of the consequences that will occur when they vote. I understand that argument but an age limit must be used as a first qualifier.
Today in the United States, citizens attain the right to vote at the age of 18. The minimum voting age was established by the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified in 1971. Because of this amendment states are prohibited from adopting higher minimum voting ages. However, some states permit 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they will turn 18 by the time of the subsequent general election. There are some cities that have extend voting rights in municipal elections, but as I stated above the District of Columbia is treated as a state in some cases, and can, therefore, change the voting age to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote for President of the United States in addition to local elections.
The supporters of these bills have a big hill to climb. The bills have simultaneously been introduced in both the Michigan House and Senate but they would also require a change in the federal and Michigan constitutions. The votes to change the federal and Michigan constitutions which would require a super majority in both the Michigan House and the Senate. Even if they were to garner enough votes to change the Michigan constitution, to change the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress would have to pass the change and send it back to all the states for ratification. The last time this was attempted and successful was back in 1971 when they lowered the voting age from 21 – 18.
The question I have is should the voting age be raised back to 21 since we as a nation believe that people under the age of 21 are not mature enough to make mature, well-informed decisions and decide if they want to smoke, drink alcohol, have sex, buy a gun and in the case of teenagers under the age of 18 to join the military. In fact according to the Democratic Party under the Obamacare bill our children are not considered adults until the age of 27.
As I stated in my April article I question why this voting age issue is gaining popularity among the Liberal ideology. My thought is due to the fact that they are losing their voting base due to their extreme ideology and the policies that come from that ideology. So they must now look for a new crop of voters to attempt to play on their emotions, what better than teenagers, to get themselves elected to positions of power.