On Election Day 2006, Jesse L. Hunter of Eden Prarie, age 17, went to his polling place, showed his ID, and passed through and was allowed to vote, believing that he was informed enough to cast a ballot, regardless of his age. For taking part in this action, however illegal it was, he took a step that about half of Americans are typically unwilling to, taking a few minutes out of his day to make his voice heard in how his government should be run. For this action, he faces up to a year in jail.
Voting age is often a controversial subject. Up until only a few decades ago, the voting age in American was 21. Because of social justice movements, mostly the anti-Vietnam War movement, the voting age was lowered to 18, with the reasoning that if a person is asked to die for his country, they should also be allowed to vote for or against those asking them to die. This argument could also be made for todayâ€™s young people. Even though you still have to be 18 to fight in a war, military recruiters target children younger than that in high schools, and many future soldiers make commitments to the military before they turn 18. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s too much of a stretch to say that if you trust somebody to be informed and educated enough to commit their life to the military, you should also trust them to have some kind of say in their government.
In addition to that, there are countries that have voting ages lower than 18, some of which have the clause that they must be employed to vote under 18.
Another good reason to let those under 18 vote is the Education Policy. This is obviously going to affect those under 18 more than anyone else, yet they are not allowed to choose a candidate who may benefit their own education system. Even if someone isnâ€™t willing to give those under 18 credit for being informed enough to vote, surely they can admit that a high school student, with the possible exception of a teacher, knows more about the problems and issues affect education than anyone else.
And regardless of one's feeling on the issue, isn't a little silly to threaten somebody with a year in jail simply for trying to vote?
And in todayâ€™s America, where only about half of the population vote, and many Americans are incredibly misinformed and/or ignorant about policies, leaders, geography, et cetera, I cannot see much of a downside to letting those younger than 18 a say in a government.