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Kids Should Vote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Global warming, stock market plunges, housing market at an all-time low, bird flu, and Americans dying in Iraq! When you’re a kid it feels like you’re letting adults plan your future. Adults are voting, but their votes affect the next generation. We are the ones who have to live with their decisions.

In our multimedia-based society kids are exposed to more information than ever. Television, Internet, and satellite news are available 24/7. Polar ice caps are melting, our troops are dying, and people are starving as we watch live. My generation is more aware of what is going on in the world than previous ones. My generation is more likely to be offspring of single-parent families, multi-racial families, and openly gay parents. The world has changed, society is different from when our parents grew up.

Kids are more socially and politically aware; so why can’t we take part in the political process? What would the political environment be like if kids could vote? Perhaps SUVs would be illegal - if you don’t get 35 miles per gallon, you’re off the road. Why are our troops dying in Iraq if no weapons of mass destruction were found? Perhaps we would bring the troops home now, if kids had a say. How come Katrina victims still need help, while we turn away economic aid from other countries? I would vote to accept help from foreign countries. Why does it matter if we agree with their government or leaders if they want to help? Also, my generation doesn’t care who makes up a family. I would vote that families are people who love and care for their children.

My hope is that because children of my generation have more knowledge, they will make the right decisions. My fear is that kids are so busy memorizing Red Sox stats, so concerned with Britney at the VMA Awards or with beating the newest video game, that they may not pay attention to what will affect their lives. On the other hand, don’t some adults focus on these less important things too?

Perhaps only the politically aware should vote, whether they are 14 or 104. If you don’t know how your vote will affect everyone, or how a candidate will govern, then don’t cast a vote. I guess kids couldn’t do any worse.

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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This article has 57 comments. Post your own now!

KChan said...
Apr. 19 at 11:07 pm
It certainly makes sense that people whose lives are going to be shaped by legislation, should have a say in that legislation. Especially with decreasing voter turnout, it is important to encourage political activity in the generation to train them to become active participants in the nations laws as adults. Perhaps the concern now isn't what we can do to avoid people who are politically aware, but to reform the education system slightly so that kids are trained to become more politically aware ... (more »)
jimmyblair This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 12 at 9:53 pm
I agree with you in that only the socially and politically aware should vote. However, that doesn't necessarily apply to a large percentage of people under the age of 18 (or people over 18, for that matter). Additionally, while some kids may have good ideas, they may not always be feasible due to their limited understanding on how our country functions. I think maybe instead of just saying "Hey, anyone can vote!" there could potentially be an 'exam' or some kind of test on current governmental i... (more »)
KChan replied...
Apr. 20 at 12:16 am
I feel like the aptitude test can be taken in many ways. First, it could decrease voter turnout, which is already sadly low. Second, you would have to be super careful in crafting that test so that there is no bias whatsoever and include a lot of history behind each. To what threshold would you define someone as politically aware? If this awareness is too high, we could REALLY impair voter turnout. If it is too low, then what is the point? Much safer, I think, it is to just integrate political a... (more »)
love_running said...
Feb. 12 at 7:33 pm
Some people may be intelligent, but kids can be one sided. Their judgement may be based on their parents' opinions. I agree that kids should vote though, because, afterall, we're still more aware than most adults these days.
9spaceking said...
Jan. 23 at 10:19 am
If a 14 year old is not even responsible enough to drive, how can he/she listen to politicians, know their true stances and the problems of the world, and not be easily swayed by lame ads? They have to learn busily in school already; they simply cannot be able to have the privilege to vote! Who knows, the politicians may focus more on teen problems if we allow kids to vote! Nevertheless; a strong essay on the pro position.
Lhorses replied...
Aug. 18 at 2:58 pm
I would think that kids who are politically aware are probably responsible enough to drive, just as they are responsible enough to vote. They main point is that though they are capable they are denied that privilege simply because of their age. As far as the their still in school argument goes, considering how much time kids have for extracurricular activities if they really wanted to they could take the time. Plus they already know most of it just from watching the news, talking to other kids a... (more »)
theholychurchoftim said...
Jan. 22 at 10:16 pm
In theory, I like this idea. It poses a problem, however: most children these days either aren't smart enough or don't care enough to make intelligent decisions about our futures. As for the first group, their vote will most likely be swayed by the public opinion of social media, which in turn is created by the second group. That group is made up of children who simply don't care about or cannot comprehend their future, so their votes would be affected by their current state. Want a new vide... (more »)
LChorses replied...
Aug. 18 at 3:05 pm
Some children may not be mature enough to make sophisticated decision. I find it interesting what people consider the proper age to do things at. The youngest person executed in the United States was 14. He was not old enough to vote, drive, or do much of anything without a parent's permission yet could be executed for his crime?! That does not make too much sense. You're not considered intelligent enough to do much of anything, yet you are mentally competent enough to be executed.
meganahmed said...
Sept. 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm
yeah! this realy helps me  
JONJON2134 said...
Mar. 12, 2014 at 8:40 am
I totally agree, if we ware able to voice our opinions then we could impace our own future in a more direct way. And due to that we wouldn't have to live with the careless almost completely stupid things that adults vote for or do when it comes to the government. But maybe we can lower it to 14 because that seems like a more stable age group from my point of view.
faith1235 said...
Jan. 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm
I am a 12 year old a]nd I disagree completly. Kids most likely don't know that much about presidents wich they will learn more about when their older. They would get bored of the really long speeches thst the candidates make, so the kids wouldn't understand them. Kids could judge the candidates too quickly. Kids might also only chose what their parents or friends say and not what they think. And that is what I think.
LChorses replied...
Aug. 18 at 3:10 pm
I do agree with you to an extent and respect the fact that at 12, you agree the many kids probably shouldn't vote. I would like to point out that if they don't bother listening to the candidates speeches they probably won't bother voting at all. I also agree that many children are highly suggestible. However I think adult's beliefs are also based on their parents, friends, or just the majority's opinions.
graciesings said...
Aug. 22, 2013 at 1:34 am
I think children voting would be a bad idea. Reason 1.  There are enough stupid people voting that adding mixed-up children to the group could be (more) disastrous.   2.  Children usually have little knowledge of economics.  One of the main reasons the American economy is a wreck is that many adults don't understand economics.  Adding more voters who don't understand simple economic rules, like the law of supply and demand, could send the country ... (more »)
LChorses replied...
Aug. 18 at 3:19 pm
I would like to point out that many kids know more history than their parents because of the fact that they are still in school. The information is still fresh in their heads however the adults seem to have forgotten. I think modern may actually be more informed due to the news, internet, and what they hear from others. I also think that kids have their own opinions and will not just believe whatever they here. Anyway it seems like most adults just go along with the majority. Also, I think I lea... (more »)
olokai said...
May 28, 2013 at 10:44 am
i totaly agree with this article but only 10 and up
BY THE WAY said...
May 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm
BTW teens and children might sometimes be immatures but there are others who care just as much as adults and they might have a different  opinion than them. :) to you too
kat18 said...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm
katrina here loves to vote for anything.  
sallysunshine12 said...
Apr. 24, 2013 at 10:52 am
i think we should vote
Bones96 said...
Feb. 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm
  While you are correct that most adolescents have more information available to them through the internet and news. That doesn't make them capable to take on the responsibility. As adolescents our frontal lobe aren't fully develop till early to mid twenties. (to be clear the frontal lope is the part of the brain that tells us and understands the differences between right and wrong; as well as help make more logical, rational decisions.) Teenagers a lot of the time tend to make ra... (more »)
George replied...
May 28 at 3:10 am
If you make a point on intelligence, saying children are not smart enough to vote, I wonder, how can you say that voting is only for the smart and not so smart should have no say? No true democracy disenfranchises anyone for their IQ.
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