Voting Age In The USA

Topics: Democracy, United States Constitution, Election Pages: 5 (801 words) Published: March 22, 2015


Voting age in the USA
Student’s Name
Institution

Abstract
Voting is a fundamental process that allows for a legal citizen to express his or her opinion on different issues. These issues are mostly political but not necessarily. The legal voting age in the US is 18years. The notion as to whether the voting age should be lowered or not has been faced with a lot of contention. Some young American citizens feel that, it is their right regardless of their age to vote. They pay taxes just like older people. Moreover, other countries such as Brazil have allowed it and it has not had negative implication on their government. Others, on the other hand, feel that young people are not mature enough to make rational decisions that affect the federal state. They can vote in other areas but not the political scene.

Voting age in the USA
Voting may seem like an easy term but it really is not. It refers to the ability to willingly and rightfully express one’s choice or preference for a particular person or issue. The key words here are willingly and rightfully. This translates to freewill and a person should not be strong-armed into voting. There are legal implications involved in voting especially for a candidates vying for major posts in a political government. These implications are there to ensure free and fair elections for the voters. In the United States of America, voting has been faced with a lot of controversy. This dates back to the early 18th century (1700s) where only white males were allowed to vote (Bruce, 2010). Later on, religious restrictions were imposed and only Protestants were voted in the House of Representatives. In 1807, the US constitution prohibited women in the states of New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire from voting. Today, the biggest debate lies in what age should an eligible voter be. According to the US constitution ratified in 1971, the voting age changed from 21years to 18years. Despite this amendment, statistics show that the number of young people that turn up to vote has still not increased significantly. Therefore the question stands, should the age of an eligible voter be raised or lowered? The bottom line is, by virtue of being a human being one already possesses the right to vote. This is regardless of whether the constitution acknowledges it or not (Grover, 2011).Grover elucidates further by saying, “The denial of a vote is therefore the denial of human rights” (2011). In the USA and in most colleges political subjects are offered to students starting from Grade 3. This allows for them to be well versant with their political environment at a tender age. In spite of this, they should not be allowed to vote at that age because they are not mature enough to critically analyse issues. They are not able to demystify between the truth and what appears to be the truth. Also, young children cannot stand firm and can easily be swayed by people. In fact most of them rely on their parents to make decisions for them. Voting should be a matter of quality and not quantity. It is obvious that if the age of an eligible voter is lowered, then the number of voters would generally increase. The problem is that most of this young people do not pay attention to policy issues as their minds are preoccupied with entertainment .They would rather spend their time chatting away on social networks discussing fashion and celebrities rather than watch an ongoing election. In this light, asking young Americans to vote is not wise as most of them are repulsed by it. It would be wise however, to ask American Citizens who are keen on politics to vote. These mainly happen to be older in age. The US Constitution took years to create and would take even more to amend. Amendment should be done on serious grounds and on significant issues such as health and education. In fact, these are some of the issues that politicians include in their manifesto in order to attract voters. Lowering the voting age...

References: Grover, S. C. (2011). Young people 's human rights and the politics of voting age. Dordrecht: Springer.
Youthrights.org.
Bruce, Hartford. (2010). Voting Right History: Two centuries of Struggle.
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