The 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution sets the federal voting age at 18 years old. Before this Amendment was enacted, the voting age in most places was 21 years of age. The voting age should again be lowered; this time, to 16 years of age.
According to a recent study, 80% of 16- and 17-year-olds work at some point before they graduate. Both income taxes and FICA taxes are withheld from working teenagers’ earnings every year, but they do not have any representation in the government. The idea of “no taxation without representation” was a key issue in the American Revolutionary War in the 1700s.
In many states, including North Carolina, a 16-year-old can drive alone and be tried as an adult for serious crimes. Although the penal system can punish teenagers like adult criminals, mature and responsible teens are still not given the right to vote.
In North Carolina, all high school students are required to complete a course covering civics and economics. Furthermore, even though there are many ignorant adult voters, they are still arbitrarily given the right to vote.
College-bound teenagers are preparing for college, and to do so, many elect to participate in several community service events during their free time. These teenagers are active in their communities, and they are helping others in need.
It is time to stop the constant discrimination against teenagers, and giving them the right to vote would be a step in the right direction.