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Lowering the voting age?

Schweddy

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CBS news

(CBS) Ten states are looking at lowering the voting age from 18, reports CBS Marketwatch Correspondent Trish Regan.

Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair is pushing to extend voting rights to 16-year-olds, she adds.

In California, the voting age may be shaved to 14 under a bill being considered by the state senate, Regan says. But she explains that how much a vote counts would depend on the voter's age.

Under the plan, 14- and 15-year-olds would get a quarter of a vote, and 16 and 17-year-olds would get half.

"It's like training wheels or an apprenticeship- like driving!" says Calif. State Sen. John Vasconcellos. "Practice driving, you get a permit license, certain rules. You don't get a full fledged but you get on the path and experience is always the best teacher."

But critics say that giving teens a portion of the vote threatens the democratic process. "This cheapens (the vote)," charges Art Croney of a group called Responsible Citizens. "It says, 'Oh, it's not that important, school kids can vote event though they have no life experience."

However, points out Regan, students argue it's not life experience that matters.

"There are 16-year-olds who watch the news and read The New York Times daily, so why should they be excluded?" asks Simon Trumbell of Berkeley High School.

Classmate Madeline Kovacs asserts, "The more young people you can get voting, who are well-informed, the better."

California elections officials predict giving teens a portion of the vote would be a logistical nightmare, Regan says.

"The percentages, of them, half here, half there ... to make it work, make it all come out, is a big undertaking."

And though Gov. Schwarzenegger trusts teenagers to make smart choices at the box office, he's not yet ready to take a chance on them at the polls: "I like it the way it is right now - the age of 18 on," he says.

Regan adds that observers say the chances of California passing a lower voting age are slim because - most of the people supporting it - are still too young to vote.
I have to agree with the governer. While they are at it - lower the drinking age to 18.
Old enough to die for our country: old enough to drink.
 

gypsy0032

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In my opinion, lowering the voting age is generally a bad idea. This article is talking about ages where children are influenced by peer pressure. I wonder if anyone has actually considered that aspect. "My friends voted for so and so, therefore I voted for so and so." It doesn't matter what the potential candidate stands for, or whether or not those stances coincide with the voters beliefs. Granted, I'm looking at the extremity here.

And certainly I believe that there are some children / young adults who are mature enough to handle having voting privileges. However I believe the majority are still trying to define themselves as the adults they are becoming. I think at that age a person tends to look at things in a more short term manner. But let's look at something else. At 14 and 15, most teenagers aren't allowed to have a driver's license yet.

I cannot however, find any fault with lowering the voting age to 17. This puts many young adults as seniors in high school. It should be noted though, that at 17, one can join the military.
 

Schweddy

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gypsy0032 said:
"My friends voted for so and so, therefore I voted for so and so." It doesn't matter what the potential candidate stands for, or whether or not those stances coincide with the voters beliefs.
Unfortunatly this is not as extreme as it sounds. This happens among many adults. Word of mouth is the best advertisement. Many many adults have no clue what their state representative beliefs are much less the federal level. There was a movie with Eddie Murphy (cannot recall the name of it) that showed him going to Washington on a ticket just because his name was familiar in that state. Sad, but it happens all the time. They saw an ad on TV - he /she must be ok right?

My main concern with dropping the age of voting is the media bias. The news media is joke. They add comments where they should not be and make it sound as though they are facts. Kids during this stage of development are normally concerned with sex (hopefully opposite sex) and rebellion against the parents. They are easily swayed with what they see on TV. While not all high schoolers fit into this genre it is very common. What would the difference be in rebelling against their parent to vote on the opposite ticket?
gypsy0032 said:
And certainly I believe that there are some children / young adults who are mature enough to handle having voting privileges.
I cannot however, find any fault with lowering the voting age to 17. This puts many young adults as seniors in high school. It should be noted though, that at 17, one can join the military
Absolutely. But the few cannot and should not represent the whole.
Graduating from High School (not a GED) should be the requirement at 17.
 

Aragorn

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Lowering voting age

I must say "No" to the proposal... Most people under 18 have no clue (and few over 18 ) about what goes on in the government. Take the big protests after the 2000 election for instance - Many people did not understand that the electorial college vote counts are the ones that really matter - the popular vote determines who wins each state's electorial votes - overall count does not matter. Students are supposed to learn about this in thier governemt (political science) classes usually during thier senior year in high school. The best idea would be to make sure everyone has been through one of these classes and monitored (studied) an election and the results before being allowed to actually vote. Hey - you have to take a test before getting a drivers license and that does not affect the entire country. Actually, due to America's standing, one vote can impact the world - look how close Florida was. If only a few more uninformed people got out to vote that day...
 

LiberalFINGER

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The voting age at 18 is a gamble as it is. Lowering the voting age to anything younger could be irresponsible. Without going into detail, I will state that I formulated some rather interesting political ideas at 16.

I *AM* in favor of a voting military. If an individual has a civic mind enough to join the military and serve his/her country, then I say that the service member deserves to choose their commander and chief.
 

Tasmin

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Lower the voting age? I remember being 16. I could have cared less about politics at that age. I was too concerned with girls, pop music, etc. And at 18 I still didn't know the difference between my ass and a hole in the ground. Lower the voting age? I have two words: :censored NO!!!
 

CSA_TX

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When you are old enough to join the military and DIE for my right to vote then you are old enough to vote. No one younger than 18 should be able to vote. However I also beleive that if your old enough to to DIE for my right to live free than your old enough to drink, and purchase a handgun. Both of witch you have to be 21 for now.
 

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Schweddy

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CSA_TX said:
When you are old enough to join the military and DIE for my right to vote then you are old enough to vote. No one younger than 18 should be able to vote. However I also beleive that if your old enough to to DIE for my right to live free than your old enough to drink, and purchase a handgun. Both of witch you have to be 21 for now.
No argument here CSA.

If you are in the military - you should be able to vote & drink.
 

LiberalFINGER

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CSA_TX wrote:
When you are old enough to join the military and DIE for my right to vote then you are old enough to vote. No one younger than 18 should be able to vote. However I also beleive that if your old enough to to DIE for my right to live free than your old enough to drink, and purchase a handgun. Both of witch you have to be 21 for now.

Vauge wrote:

No argument here CSA.

If you are in the military - you should be able to vote & drink.
The voting military thing was because you can join at 17.

And for those that think that the military should be able to Vote and Drink and own handguns, we at the Anheiser Busch corporation would like to remind you to think when you drink. Don't shoot guns and vote while plastered.
 
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