At What age Should we Start the Political Process?

At what age do we start the political process and allow individuals to vote? This is the topic that is greatly debated. Although, you wont hear about age to vote too often. Is the age of 18 a proper starting point? Should the age limit be lowered, since we tax underage individuals?

Sources and Quotes

MENTAL HEALTH DAILY . COM

“The fact that our brains aren’t developed until the mid 20s means that “legal adults” (those age 18+) are allowed to make adult decisions, without fully mature brains.  Someone who is 18 may make riskier decisions than someone in their mid-20s in part due to lack of experience, but primarily due to an underdeveloped brain.  All behaviors and experiences you endure until the age of 25 have potential to impact your developing brain.”

 

-http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/02/18/at-what-age-is-the-brain-fully-developed/

 

WISE GEEK . ORG

“The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is located in the very front of the brain, just behind the forehead. In charge of abstract thinking and thought analysis, it is also responsible for regulating behavior. This includes mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events.”

-http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-prefrontal-cortex.htm

 

HISTORY . COM

The 26th amendment (Passed in 1971)

“The long debate over lowering the voting age in America from 21 to 18 began during World War II and intensified during the Vietnam War, when young men denied the right to vote were being conscripted to fight for their country.”

http://www.history.com/topics/the-26th-amendment

 

Implications:

According to Gallup.com, when you brake down party affiliations by age, there is a trend that shows they younger you are, the more likely you are to vote Democrat, and as you age, your political leanings tend to move toward the center or right. (Show Diagram)

 

*Incentive for Dems to lower the voting age

 

Federal Regulations have made you 75% Poorer - http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/21/federal-regulations-have-made-you-75-per


 

Ten Reasons to Lower the Voting Age

http://www.youthrights.org/issues/voting-age/top-ten-reasons-to-lower-the-voting-age/

  1. Youth suffer under a double standard of having adult responsibilities but not rights

In 1971 the United States ratified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution granting the right to vote to 18-20-year-olds. The 26th Amendment was the fastest to be ratified in U.S. history. At the height of the Vietnam War most Americans realized the sick double standard inherent in sending 18-year-old soldiers to fight and die for their country when they weren’t allowed to vote. Double standards didn’t go away in 1971. Right now youth are subject to adult criminal penalties despite lacking the right to vote.

2. Youth pay taxes, live under our laws, they should have the vote

Just like all other Americans, young Americans pay taxes. In fact, they pay a lot of taxes. Teens pay an estimated $9.7 billion dollars in sales taxes alone.4 Not to mention many millions of taxes on income, according to the IRS, “You may be a teen, you may not even have a permanent job, but you have to pay taxes on the money you earn.”5 And teens do work: 80% of high school students work at some point before graduation.6 Youth pay billions in taxes to state, local, and federal governments yet they have absolutely no say over how much is taken. This is what the American Revolution was fought over; this is taxation without representation.

3. Politicians will represent their interests if youth can vote

4. Youth have a unique perspective, they’ll never have those experiences again

5. 16 is a better age to introduce voting than 18; 16-year-olds are stationary

6. Lowering the Voting Age will increase voter turnout

7. If we let stupid adults vote, why not let smart youth vote?

The argument that youth “should not vote because they lack the ability to make informed and intelligent decisions is valid only if that standard is applied to all citizens.”9 But yet this standard is not applied to all citizens, only young people. “We do not deprive a senile person of this right, nor do we deprive any of the millions of alcoholics, neurotics, psychotics and assorted fanatics who live outside hospitals of it. We seldom ever prevent those who are hospitalized for mental illness from voting.” 10

8. Youth will vote well

9. There are no wrong votes

10. Lowering the voting age will provide an intrinsic benefit to the lives of youth