General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

How do you feel about lowering the voting age to 16?

Asked by Caravanfan (11502points) 1 month ago from iPhone

I am here in Scotland and they did this. The argument by the conservatives say is that they don’t have the maturity and understanding.

What say you?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

56 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m in favor of it. I think youth of that age have a right to vote in elections that will affect them in their adulthood.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m more concerned with people being too old to vote than too young to vote.

16-year-olds have more cognitive ability than people with old and aging brains, especially if they have some sort of dementia or other decline in memory or cognitive ability.

hat's avatar

I favor lowering the age to 16 (or lower) and implementing a max age (50?).

Pandora's avatar

I think a lot of young people today understand issues they will face better than many of those currently voting and they are voting for their future.

Pandora's avatar

@hat they don’t need to cut off voting at 50. They need to cap politicians running at 63. If they are old enough to retire then they shouldn’t be making policies that won’t affect them too long in the future. And no more Justices for life. They should be forced to retire at 65 if ill and 70 if healthy.

filmfann's avatar

16 year old generally lack mature thought, and have chemical imbalances in their heads.

ragingloli's avatar

16 year olds are hardly any less mentally impaired than 61 year olds.

Demosthenes's avatar

Any talk about maturity and being informed just makes me laugh when I think about how immature and uninformed many adult voters are. That said, there has to be a cut-off somewhere and I think legal adulthood works.

gondwanalon's avatar

@hat I Know you are joking. HA! But rethink your answer. You can be President of the United States and not be able to vote. Also 50 is not old. I was still breaking 3 hours in full marathons when I was 50.

HP's avatar

It’s probably better. Kids may be foolish, but America is proof positive that “there is no fool like an old fool”

kritiper's avatar

Too young! It’s bad enough that they don’t require voters to: Pass an IQ test. Or, be a college graduate. Or, pass a test on current events.

JLoon's avatar

Why not?

We’ve already lowered the average IQ to 12.

hat's avatar

@gondwanalon: “I Know you are joking. HA! But rethink your answer. You can be President of the United States and not be able to vote. Also 50 is not old.”

I’m sorta joking (I’m not really convinced that anything can fix the situation). But older people are a problem. If young people are not going to vote in large enough numbers to offset the problematic older vote, reducing the older vote via an age limit might help.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Young Americans already ignore their opportunity to vote enough. Eighteen is OK.

I would be more supportive of a test. Specifically the citizenship test for immigrants.

I scored 8 out of 10

gorillapaws's avatar

I do think it’s fundamentally inconsistent that a child can be tried as an adult for a crime but considered too immature to vote and elect the representatives who write the laws he’s charged with breaking.

I hope you’re having fun in Scotland!

seawulf575's avatar

I feel that if most things require 18 as the age of consent or age of maturity, then to allow voting at 16 is wrong. Can a 16 year old own property? Are they universally looked at as being old enough to live on their own? Can they buy a house? Get a bank loan? Can a 16 year old be held liable for all their actions in a civil court of law? Can they be drafted into the military? If the answers are yes, then they should be allowed to vote. If the answers are no, then they shouldn’t.

Zaku's avatar

Seems reasonable to me, all things considered, though I’m not bothered by it. A basic competency requirement might be more appropriate, depending on what it is, but probably getting the country to agree on standards would be impossible, given that some of the GQP members of Congress, and the previous POTUS, seem incompetent to me.

@Call_Me_Jay I got 10/10, but some of the questions seemed a bit silly (“father of our country”? ha ha ha), the terrorism question made me uneasy, and some of the wrong answers made me LOL.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I also got 10/10. @Zaku my questions were obviously different than yours. I wasn’t asked about George Washington. Like you, some of the wrong answers were funny.

I had one question about who makes laws, and SCOTUS makes a kind of law, so it was tricky. I went with the obvious answer, and it was correct.

janbb's avatar

I got 10/10 and nothing about terrorism. Thought it was remarkably easy as an American but probably not for an immigrant.

My Ex got citizenship after living here the requisite amount of time. One of the questions he, a Brit, was asked was “Who did the United States win independence from?”

canidmajor's avatar

Who else said it out loud? :-)
I think is more complex than simply voting age. When they changed the age from 21 to 18, a lot of the discussion revolved around the age of conscription, the drinking age, etc etc etc.

LadyMarissa's avatar

IF they’re not old enough to legally get drunk or join the military, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote!!!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@LadyMarissa You can join the military ROTC at the age of 14 or 15 in high school.

seawulf575's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake ROTC is not the military. It is training to help develop discipline and skills you might need in the military, but you would not be sent to war at age 14 or 15.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I’m sorry, but 16 year old children are not mature enough to vote. 18, nope not yet then either. Hell, at 16 I was not even mature enough for the most basic relationships with the opposite sex. Forget any obligations to society at that age past six strings, two tits and 8 cylinders.

Mimishu1995's avatar

One factor that is worth considering is the hive mind effect. 16 year olds is the age when people are still figuring out who they are and what their stand on matters around the world is, even though they may think they know it all. This is the age when people are still easily influenced by peer pressure because they have yet to develop a strong opinion. This can be especially dangerous in the age of the Internet, where lies and manipulation run rampant. Sure, 16-year-old of this day and age are very atune to world issues, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be swayed from the right thing by the right kind of people. A corrupted enough politician can just hire people to go on Internet group and say convincing things about them and edge people on to vote, and a lot of 16-year-olds would fall for it, in drove. I’m not saying adults can’t be manipulated, but they are generally more likely to stand firm on their opinion and see BS for what it is. This isn’t something a 16-year-old is expected to do. And if they do, they are the exception, not the rule.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@hat I don’t even have words for your opinion of older voters, as if 50 is old, lol. You’re an angry person in need of counseling. Younger people have not the experience to understand the implications of what they’re voting for. They will vote on feelings and not facts so they’re highly susceptible to the most basic manipulation. We were all kids once so we all know this is true.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Lol. As if older people who sit in front of fucking Fox News all day being told to fear the latest bullshit aren’t voting based on emotions? Old people are gullible af.

What percentage of American voters do you think vote on “facts”?

Zaku's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I’d say it depends on the person, which is why I’d favor a competency test IF (and only if) it could be made fair, just and accurate (which I expect it probably can’t, at least not by the current US government). I remember how I was at 16 discussing votes with my parents, and at 18 voting, and I am sure I was mature enough about voting to vote. In fact, I voted with much more attention and willingness to consider all candidates in detail then than now, though also politics were rather more balanced and worthy of consideration at that point in history.

@Mimishu1995 At 16 I was practically immune to peer pressure, and very capable of forming well-considered political opinions.

I concede that I would not claim the same of the majority of my peers or other contemporaries.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Why its not a good idea….
If 16 year olds were given the right to vote in Elections then they would be prime candidates

to be conscripted into militay service especially now with Russia waging War with the world.

I assume that if there were a World War III that all the available able and bodied men would

then automatically be pressed into service leaving the 16 year olds to help care for the

families at home. ( and keep the economy going).

Jeruba's avatar

So, @hat, you don’t think I’m qualified to vote any longer.

seawulf575's avatar

@Demosthenes ” As if older people who sit in front of fucking Fox News all day being told to fear the latest bullshit aren’t voting based on emotions?” As if those that sit in front of CNN or MSNBC aren’t being told to fear the latest bullshit? But seriously, you’d rather have 16 year olds that don’t watch the news at all having input to the major decisions of our country?

seawulf575's avatar

@Hat, is it your opinion then that 16 year olds should be required to go out and get jobs to support their families and society so that 50 year olds and older can retire? I’m all for that!!! Maybe I can move into my kids house for the rest of my life. That would be good.

hat's avatar

@Jeruba: “So, @hat, you don’t think I’m qualified to vote any longer.”

It’s nothing personal – and it’s not about who is qualified. I don’t believe in the concept of qualification – for voting or holding public office. What I was saying with my semi-serious response is that if we were serious about “progress” and were willling to play with who is eligible to vote, making an age cap would be the fastest route to real change.

At every point in history, young people are on the correct side of history. That’s just how it is.

Note: In my semi-serious answer, I am no longer eligible to vote.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Back during WWII, 16 year olds did NOT get a job & support their family. Their Mothers got a job & supported their family all while taking care of their children (including the 16 y/o). That’s what started women getting out of the house & going to work. When the adult males returning home realized that women were able to do the job, they didn’t want them staying at home…they wanted them to continue helping to support the family!!!

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Demosthenes I’m going to disagree with you, but you need to define “older.” Elderly sure, we know they are susceptible to being manipulated. A 50–60 year old person is in their prime mentally with a weight of experience behind them. They’re not so easy to manipulate as a whole. If there is an age slot designated for voting I’d place it at ages between 30–70. Younger people are truly agents of change, but they are easily hijacked by tyrants and people with nefarious intentions. There is almost an innate voltage with younger people that must be released through struggle or conflict, often in a context that they can’t be bothered to fully understand, spare a few. This is so easily directed by others that I will say it’s not such a good idea to let the youngest citizens vote.

canidmajor's avatar

@seawulf575: ”But seriously, you’d rather have 16 year olds that don’t watch the news at all having input to the major decisions of our country?”
So by your very own reasoning, wouldn’t 16 year olds be most qualified to make major decisions, as they are avoiding the very biases you so decry?

Mimishu1995's avatar

@hat At every point in history, young people are on the correct side of history.

During WWI the British army was short of soldiers, so they ran a propaganda campaign to get people to join the army. The propaganda basically painted the soldier’s life as prideful and glamorous, full of gold and glory. It was clear that the truth was much further from that, but the propaganda got people hooked for a while. What they didn’t expect was that literal children also bought in the propaganda and joined the army, children who were as young as twelve. They joined en massed while faking their age, just to get a piece of that glory. Only when they were on the battlefield did they realize how faraway reality was to the propaganda and had to beg the higher up to let them go home. Many officers were shocked to discover that the soldiers in their armies were just kids. Many young soldiers didn’t return home.

This is just a neutral example of how easily young people can be manipulated into a certain direction. There have been more horrific examples of young people being manipulated into a political ideology, things like Hitler Youth and ISIS child soldiers. With something so complex and prone to manipulation like politics, you need to have a firm grasp of yourself and what you want in order not to fall into emotion traps and dirty tactics. 16-year-olds are just not emotionally mature enough to see though the mess, and their opinion can be altered by a higher power.

I’m not denying that young people have the opportunity to see and fight for progression, but thinking they will always do the right thing is just ignoring the fact.

NovDel's avatar

It seems anomalous that a 16-year-old can’t vote, but can do a lot of other ‘adult’ things like marry and have families, but we have to be honest. Most under-18s aren’t thinking any further ahead than their next phone upgrade, and are easily manipulated by teachers, peer pressure, and social media. The SNP lowered the voting age to 16 for the 2014 referendum because polls showed a majority of 16 – 17 year-olds supported independence. Had there been less support for independence in that age group the voting age would have remained at 18 for certain.

Demosthenes's avatar

To be clear, I was not supporting 16-year-olds voting. I gave my opinion above that I think legal adulthood (18) is an acceptable cut-off for voting rights. Unless 16-year-olds are being classified as adults, they should not be voting. I objected to the idea that young people (not 16, but 18–30 or so) are somehow more emotional voters than people in their 50s/60s given the amount of people in the latter age group I’ve come across who parrot what they see on cable news (yes @seawulf575, any cable news, it’s all crap) and even worse, Facebook, falling for QAnon and other bullshit narratives. It isn’t just elderly people in their 70s+ being manipulated. A lot of people seem easily manipulated in the digital age, especially older people who are not digital natives and seem to think everything they encounter in their online echo chamber is true.

I was also not agreeing with banning people over 50 from voting; that’s silly. But I do not think people over 50 are necessarily “better voters” than 18-year-olds. Not at all. In either case, it doesn’t matter, because voting isn’t a privilege bestowed on certain people based on how intellectually and emotionally competent they are; if it were, virtually no one would be eligible, across various age groups.

hat's avatar

@Mimishu1995: “but thinking they will always do the right thing is just ignoring the fact.”

Good thing nobody here is thinking that!

Caravanfan's avatar

Super interesting discussion, thanks!

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor No, not at all. You have to understand the issues at hand. Asking the 16 year old to vote on issues that involve finance is probably not going to come up with a well rationed vote. The media can (and does) push bias and narrative. That is a given (I hope!). But the smartest way to make a decision is to have information and different views so you can weigh them for yourself.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 “Asking the 16 year old to vote on issues that involve finance is probably not going to come up with a well rationed vote…”

26% of poll responders disagreed with the statement “trickle-down economics have never worked in America.” I’d say there’s a healthy percent of adults who are clueless about finance as well.

janbb's avatar

I suggest we don’t lower the age for voting but that we raise the age for gun ownership.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@seawulf575 The media can (and does) push bias and narrative

Fortunately elderly republicans can see right through Fox News’s bullshit…

Lightlyseared's avatar

@janbb I’m not sure that would help. Stephen Paddock was 63.

seawulf575's avatar

@Lightlyseared Unfortunately many Democrats cannot see right through MSNBC’s or CNN’s bullshit….

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