Close, but No Cigar This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     My entire life I have been told that one vote can make the difference. Unfortunately, my birthday came three days after the election, so I have to wait another four years until my views count. Like many others, I feel this is unfair to those of us who are, as they say, “close, but no cigar.” This is one reason I think the United States should lower the legal voting age.

Not that I have anything against the current system, but I doubt that an entire three days would make a difference in what I thought about each candidate. I understand it’s the law that you must be 18 and registered by the date of the election, but three days? Something needs to be done so more youth can express their views. Some politicians might be worried that those under 18 are not responsible enough to vote, but I would argue that today’s youth have enough common sense to mark the right candidate on the ballot (unlike many adults in Florida).

Since politicians are trying to increase the number of voting teens, what better way than lower the voting age, so kids actually think it is worth their time to go to the polls? If they lowered the voting age to 16, I bet the number of people who show up at the polls on that first Tuesday in November would dramatically increase. They would be killing two birds with one stone, increasing the number of teens who vote and the total number of people who go to the polls.

Studies show that if the legal voting age were lowered to 16, it would be better since 16-year-olds are more solidly still in their communities. By this I mean that once you turn 18, you’re ready to move out, perhaps go to college, and start the next phase in your life. By lowering the voting age to 16, kids would want to have more say because what gets voted on will decide their future. Eighteen-year-olds, on the other hand don’t really care what happens in their communities since they are moving out, and may be less likely to vote than a 16-year-old.

I’ve already missed my chance to vote this time around because I was born three days too late, but there are many teens out there who would like to have their opinions count and this is why we should lower the voting age. I’m sure I am just one of many teens who is sick of always hearing “You’re close, kid, but no cigar.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 8:29 pm
i love this so much!
hannahsunshine said...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm
i love this article its very well put together very good use of words its very good keep it up!!!
hannahsunshine replied...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm
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