We grow up under the direct influence of our parents. Whether we want them to be or not, our morals, beliefs, opinions, and political leanings are all deeply affected by the way we were raised.
At 16 years old, most of us are still dependents. Maybe we have a part-time job that we work over the summer and a couple shifts here and there during the school year, but we don’t pay for our insurance, buy our own groceries, or schedule our own doctor’s appointments. We can start driving, but that’s about it. We don’t hold any real adult responsibilities. So how could 16 year olds be trusted to impact the responsibilities of our government when they aren’t even accountable for themselves yet?
Even with the voting age at 18, the youth don’t turn out. In election after election, midterms and presidential, statistics have shown that people generally show more interest in politics as they get older. Our nation’s youth haven’t shown any kind of enthusiasm or eagerness to vote in the past, so lowering the voting age to 16 wouldn’t make a significant impact in voting turnout.
Many 16-year-olds don’t have the knowledge to partake in our government, either. Ten states have no high school requirements for a civics course; and thirty-one of the states that do, only require a half-year of a civics course. The lack of attention that the public school system pays toward educating our youth on the government and how it works is reason enough keep the vote from 16-year- olds. Youth apathy combined with our dependent statuses make voting a right that we aren’t ready for.