Photo by cottonbro studio
Young people can significantly influence our society’s future. The teens’ right to vote should be discussed more than ever.
America has fought hard to lower the voting age due to the significance of our teens’ right to vote and other factors. Voting is a civic duty by people in a democratic society. It is a heavy responsibility to bear since voters will be the ones who put leaders into power. There’s also an underlying irony in the ‘Land of the Free‘: the teens’ right to vote remained debatable for ages.
Unfortunately, many societies have banned those under 18 from exercising their right to suffrage for various reasons. Some of them were the following:
- They perceive the youth as uninformed
- They’re not paying taxes
- They haven’t served in the military yet
- Young people are too liberal and rebellious
However, in recent years, we have witnessed more young people rising to the challenge of combating sociopolitical affairs that ultimately affect them. Sparking conversations that help impact the decisions of those in power are greatly influenced by the voice of those who have yet to experience the real world.
Understanding the political awareness of our youth
Today’s generation is different from the ones before. They have become more passionate, outspoken, and well-informed about the political climate in America. We cannot dismiss their eagerness to create waves of change because their future is at stake.
That is the mission of Alfred H Kurland, who wrote the book ‘The Soul of Adolescence Aligns with The Heart of Democracy. ‘It covers many topics surrounding the youth, including teen suffrage empowerment. Kurland is well aware of young people’s power, and his book is the best at encouraging teens’ right to vote.
How the teens’ right to vote began
American democracy wasn’t so good at the beginning. Born from white supremacy, only landowners could exercise their voting rights. That is until the government abolished the property requirements. But, it wasn’t any better, as racial discrimination hindered several citizens then.
Decreasing the voting age is not something new. It has been lobbied over time, and other pressing matters need further attention. For example, the 19th Amendment granted suffrage to women. For the most part, the minimum voting age was 21 until it was lowered to 20, 19, and 18. Since then, young voters must be at least 18 to participate in every state or local election. From allowing women to vote to the youth being considered, America still has a long way to go.
Why do we need to emphasize the teens’ right to vote?
The children are our future, and our current choices as collective adults will affect their lives once they’ve grown up. As early as now, they are urging us to do right by them and allow them in spaces where they can exercise their civil rights. Some are not waiting until they get involved because they know better than to regret it later.
The way young people have become sharper in observing the current political climate should be enough for adults to take the youth seriously. We must understand that they are wise beyond their years and have gained knowledge and power to make a change. And it is by voting that they imprint that change.
What young people were 20 years ago is different from the youth that’s brimming with passion now. If anyone thinks the teens’ right to vote remains irrelevant, they fail to see the bigger picture. Additionally, it may take a while before the entire United States of America becomes a genuinely united front in lowering the voting age and encouraging youth participation.
Several states are still adamant about decreasing the voting age to no less than 18 years. Not to mention, all these 50 states have different requirements, which can be complicated for first-time voters who have reached the minimum age.
Young people may fall short in voting turnout, but there is hope with the recent political turmoil that plagued this country. It won’t hurt to have faith in our youth and allow them to carve a path that leads to a brighter future. And seeing how they’re fired up in fighting for a better life, we need to amplify their voices and allow them to be seen.
It’s safe to say that the kids are alright.