Voting age should be lowered

Ashton Lewandowski, Staff Writer

Oppression is the exercising of authority to force people to do something they do not want to do. Teenagers arguably come the closest out of any group in America to meeting the qualifications for being labeled as oppressed.

[T]eenagers should have the rights entitled to them as American citizens.”

— Staff Writer Ashton Lewandowski

Deadpanning aside, teenagers under the age of 18, regardless of raw intelligence or maturity, are subject to being ordered around by their parents, teachers, and other positions of authority, with almost no say in the matter. While some obedience is healthy, teenagers should have the rights entitled to them as American citizens. 

“No taxation without representation” is a core belief that Americans hold close to their hearts. It was a catchy slogan created in response to the injustices perpetrated by the British Empire against its American colonies. America was founded on this notion, but it is being ignored in regards to teenagers.  

Anyone 14 and over can have a job and be taxed for the income they make, despite having no way to vote for representation. This is a violation of the previous notion of self representation through voting. If someone is working and being taxed from that work, they should be able to vote. 

Teenagers are also majorly affected by political decisions. They are heavily affected by substance abuse, mental illness, and other issues like the aforementioned taxes which are directly related to government legislation. 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this fact tremendously. Students had to bear the consequences of their schools “anti-Covid” measures, or lack thereof, regardless of what the actual student body desired. It is a sad fact that students do not have a say over who is elected to their own school boards when they will be the ones impacted the most by their policies. 

The best way to learn about democracy is by taking part in it. ”

— Staff Writer Ashton Lewandowski

Besides being personally affected by decisions of elected officials, voting could be a good way for teenagers to safely engage with the political process. The best way to learn about democracy is by taking part in it.  

Just like learning how to drive a car, teenagers need to learn how to vote. Since teenagers would still be protected by their parents, most decisions would not affect them as heavily.  They would be able to safely partake in and experience the consequences of the ballot they cast. Students would be more engaged with their current events classes as they would have a stake in it. Their vote could change the world. 

Teenagers should have the ability to cast a ballot. Voting is not only a right that should be entitled to them, but the educational benefits are limitless. The voting age needs to be lowered to better represent American values.