Why Vote16?

There are a number of compelling reasons why lowering the voting age to 16 makes sense, and is particularly helpful and important in a moment in which democracy is decaying around the world:

  1. It can help voting become a habit: Ensuring that 16 and 17 year olds can vote, often times when they are still in school, would ensure that voting becomes a habit, rather than waiting until 18-year olds are at a transition point in their lives;

  2. 16- and 17-year-olds are ready to vote: Studies show that 16 and 17 year olds have the necessary knowledge, skills, and cognitive ability to vote responsibly;

  3. Young People Deserve a Voice: Young people are increasingly turning away from institutional politics because they do not feel that urgent long-term issues, like climate change and economic inequality, are being taken seriously. Giving young people a formal voice will give them mechanisms to voice their opinions on these long-term issues;

  4. Lowering the voting age will lead to more and better civics education:  Globally, we need to ensure that young people are learning about the realities of the political process. Ensuring that 16 and 17 year olds could vote would incentivize schools to prioritize civics education.