Keep America Together

June 5, 2008
I am a 12 year old American citizen. These days, there are many things that affect my life. I think about things like what my future will be like and how the future America will affect my life. One thing that I think about a lot is the voting age. I, for one, am for lowering the voting age. I think they should lower the voting age because by setting a voting age you are shutting out many young people’s opinions. By doing this, you can impact America’s future in a really big way.

In past history, the age 21 was thought of as the age of majority for voting. Today, 18 is the age that most people think of when it comes to voting age. But why should the age limit be so high. Teenagers all over dream of what it would be like to vote. Setting a voting age is like telling an adult they can’t drive. By taking away a person’s right to choose who their nation is lead by, you are disappointing many people.

There are over 23 million teenagers (kids ages 12-17) in the U.S. By setting an age restriction on voting you are shutting out all of those kid’s opinions. If the voting age was to be lowered there would be many good changes in the U.S. By letting teenagers vote, there would be fewer crises about war. Since many kids don’t like knowing we are at war, it would make it easier to resist going to war because they know it affects their country. They know that many of our own citizens have to fight. Some of those people might even be their relatives or even their parents.

Today there are many countries having trouble with their governments. Also, the U.S. isn’t the only country with age restrictions on voting. If other countries, including the U.S., lowered the voting age, it could make the world a better place. The governments could become strong and peaceful and it would be less likely that there would be war because kids know that people from their country have to put their lives on the line. Kids don’t like that. Just by allowing the people to express their opinions, you can change the world. Some countries have already taken a step to lower the voting age in their countries. Take Germany for example. In Germany, you can vote as a 16 year old person! How great would that be here?

Even if the U.S. was to lower the voting age, how would they do it? First the Federal government would have to approve. Then it would be up to the state governments to offer it to their citizens.

Before the 1950’s the voting age in the U.S. was at a higher 21. Then in 1971, the 26th Amendment was passed. This amendment allowed all U.S. citizens 18 or older to vote. Many things contributed to this change. At first people were confused about this new law. But soon enough they grew to understand it. The Vietnam War contributed to this decision. Since so many young men were being drafted to fight, the government wanted to give them a chance to vote for who would lead them during the fighting.

I take this issue very seriously. I think about this issue a lot because it affects me in a big way. I am 12 years old and almost 13. If the voting age was to change it wouldn’t be by too many years, maybe 16. If it was to be proposed that the age be changed, it would take a lot of debating and voting. By the time the law was passed I would be of age to vote.

This issue affects me in other ways too. Since I’m not able to vote, I can’t choose who I want to run the country. If the voting outcome doesn’t satisfy me, I won’t like the way the country is run. This doesn’t make a difference with one person, but what about all of the other kids that feel the same? That would be like telling a bunch of kids they would have to listen to their older siblings. They would all be mad and that could hurt America in future years by making the people unhappy with the government. This violates the Constitution which states clearly that the people run the government.

If I could vote, I don’t think it would make a big difference in the long run. But to some people, including me, it is important to get your view across regardless of the results. This issue affects my life because all of the teenagers and kids are the future of America. If I am confident that my country is being run well, that can give me a sense of security and I feel like I made a choice that helped America, even in a very small way.

Even though a lot of people like the idea of lowering the voting age, there are people who are against lowering the voting age. Just like any argument, there are two sides. Some people that are against lowering the voting age say that teenagers minds are not fully matured and that they need more time to develop so they can make a firm decision. I don’t think this is true because whatever decision is made by someone, it is never really wrong, it’s an opinion. If I was going to vote, I would be sure it was a decision that I wanted to make.

Just like there are details that support my views, there are also details that support the opposition’s views. Iran is a prime example. Before 2007, Iran’s voting age was at a very low 15. Today, Iran’s government is struggling. Some people say it is because the country let a lot of its youth vote, maybe too much of its youth. Today, Iran’s government is weak and there is a big nuclear weapons crisis with Iran. Maybe the reason for Iran’s government today is that decision allowing young people to vote.

However, I don’t think this is true. The fact that kids could vote could possibly have something to do with it, but I don’t think so. I think this way because there are other reasons for why Iran ended up this way. One reason is economy. Every country wants money so the country can survive. Iran probably thought that by making nuclear weapons, hey could make more money for their country. That, in a way, is helping others, not hurting others.

So, why is the voting age important? Some people think it’s important so the decisions that are made wisely. I think it is important because people need to show their opinions about our country and our leadership. By lowering the voting age, we can gather more opinions to help decide what is best for America. By setting a high voting age many opinions and voices are being silenced. Why create a separate America, when we can accept more people’s opinions? If we don’t listen to these opinions, our society could become weaker. So don’t silence these voices, fight to keep America together.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

acipollo said...
Aug. 17, 2008 at 4:57 pm
Great article
Site Feedback