2016-01-19 – There’s a mini-movement gaining steam to give the vote to 16 year olds. Sixteen year old voted last year in the referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. D.C. is now looking at the possibility.
It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough.
I’m from the last cohort that couldn’t vote at 18. My first election was in 1972 when I was 21. The 26th amendment of the Constitution that lowered the voting age to 18 was ratified on July 1, 1971, a few weeks before my 20th birthday.
The big argument back in the seventies was that, if you could go to war, you should be able to vote. But war is not the only duty that falls on citizens. Citizens pay taxes before age 18, for example. If we are citizens from birth, why aren’t we able to vote from birth?
Sure there are some mechanics to work out for citizens who are too young to walk. But corporate voting overcomes this by allowing a proxy to vote for someone who is unable to vote. This would most likely be a parent.
If you believe that a fetus is a person, you should probably be in favor of giving voting rights to fetuses.
Though this would raise potential issues about the citizenship of the fetus, since current law grants citizenship at birth.