The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Children should be allowed to vote.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,212 times Debate No: 16112
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Basic Rules and Agreements:
1. No vulgar, slang, or racist language is allowed.
2. Intentional spelling or grammar errors are not allowed.
3. The first round is for introduction and agreement purposes.
4. If sources are used, they must be cited with URLs or titles of books and authors.
5. Debaters cannot vote for themselves.
6. To support the brevity of this debate, the character limit of each round is set to 5,000 characters.
7. Plagiarism is not allowed unless it is from one's own source. In other words, you can copy off yourself, but you have to paraphrase other works.

The topic of this debate discusses whether or not children, meaning men or women below the age of 18, should be allowed to vote for president or other political offices in the United States.

According to the twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution, "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."

I will be taking the Con/Against position of this debate. I believe that only people above 18 years of age should be allowed to vote.

I wish good luck to my contender in this debate.



I accept the terms as my contender has laid them out and gladly accept the challenge.

I will be arguing on the Pro/for side of the debate. I will argue that age restrictions have no place in our voting system. I will use resources including only scholarly articles and textbooks, which I will access through Indiana University Libraries.

Not only will I conclude that humans under the age of 18 should be allowed to vote, but I will argue that it may be beneficial to their cognitive/social growth.

Let the fun begin :)
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for agreeing to debate and to use collegiate sources. However, I will be using Internet sources for the sole reason that they are easier to access.

"People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote – a very different thing."

– Walter Henry Judd (American Politician/Statesman)

According to the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution (section 1), the minimum age for voting is 18, and that makes sense. Throughout the years, petitions, organizations, and other actions have endorsed the right for children to vote, yet all of it is based on a misconception.

Kids are too immature to vote. Sure, they could be surfing the Internet for politics and watching the news for the next president election, but nothing gets in the way of the fact that many children misunderstand what happens in the political world. Sometimes, they may vote for the wrong reasons. In fact, some may vote just for fun.

Kids are subject under the supervision of their parents. Growing up with someone means knowing them closely. Parents who agree with a particular political idea will have children that share the idea. If juvenile voting gets in effect, ambitious politicians will have the tendency to take advantage of this.

Sometimes, adults vote because they are subject under taxes and other government drawbacks. Children have not paid taxes. Neither are they intelligent enough to reason like adults until the age of 15, according to developmental biologist Jean Piaget. The youth do not have jobs; they have not experienced working conditions. Even teenagers with jobs need some time to get used to the labor world.

Does this mean that kids are unequal to adults and do not deserve the same rights as an adult? No. Does this mean that children need experience in social security, health care, or taxes before they can run this country and take adult issues? Yes.

If we give children the right to vote, we might as well let them run for president. Our country is a delicate responsibility, and the hands of the youth should mature before they can hold the world of voting and politics.

As stated in the agreements, both sides are allowed to copy from sources they have made themselves. Therefore, I have used much content from an article I have written beforehand.



I'd like to thank my opponent for posting such an intriguing topic! I am sure we will all learn a little something from this debate.
First, I will address the challenge my opponent has inferred against the cognitive ability of children.
"Kids are too immature to vote"
"Neither are they intelligent enough to reason like adults until the age of 15"
I will also use the Developmental Biologist, Jean Piaget, in support of my argument. I feel like my opponent has inaccurately depicted Piaget's potential standpoint on this issue. Piaget explains in his book The Psychology of Intelligence(1950) that children develop in 4 stages: The Sensorimotor Stage(birth-2 years), Pre-operational Stage(2 -7 years), Concrete Operational Stage(7-11 Years), and The Formal Operational Stage(11 years- Adulthood). From first glance, you can already see that Children are already at the same level of thinking as an adult even at just 11 years old. Dig a little deeper, though, and you will see that even Piaget says that the domains at which the students reach the Formal Operational stage(e.g. Math, science, politics, etc..) depend on a plethora of factors including Educational and home environment.
I would like to inform my opponent and readers of the Brain Plasticity concept. Brain Plasticity in its most basic form is the term for the brains supportiveness of new connections in the Brain. Brain Plasticity declines throughout childhood and continues to decline throughout adulthood. This concept is often directly observed in children and adults learning a new language. It is much easier to become bi-lingual while you are young than to try to learn a second language as an adult.
This is relevant because the Brain Plasticity concept does not change for other ways children learn. If our children were learning about politics and every day economics at a young age, they would be extremely fluent in it.
To counter my own argument, one might say "Our system doesn't work that way at the current time, so your argument is flawed". But I would argue that a change in law would immediately spawn a change in system. Our curriculum is made by the state so when laws change, so do textbooks.

The next argument I will be challenging will be my opponents argument that children are influenced by parents.
"Kids are subject under the supervision of their parents. Growing up with someone means knowing them closely. Parents who agree with a particular political idea will have children that share the idea."
The theory of learning that my opponent seems to be supporting with this idea is a social cognitive theory of learning, which says that our education is subject to our interactions and environment. This is a theory that I very much agree with. Unfortunately for my opponent, I am also very knowledgeable about this theory and the psychology surrounding the creation of our ideas.
There are many theories of learning, which can be mixed and matched as pleased, but since it is the theory my opponent shows support for, I will show my views through the lens of only the Social Cognitive theory. The social cognitive theorist will say that who we vote for and the policies we support are based on who we are around and how we interact with them. This is true of ALL learners, which includes adults and children alike. So, is it more valid for an adult over 18 to base his/her political opinions on that of his family and peers?
Around election time, their current events, economics classes, and even sometimes history classes allow the high school students to research and debate about the current presidential candidates. They are given any and all resources available to do their research and their decisions are often challenged in debate. Adults over 18 have a busy life; I'm one of them. College students will most likely be short on time to research their candidates (personal experience), while adults out of college are short on time and resources (less access to scholarly sources they could get in college). Students under 18 have time and resources on their hands and are often motivated, whether by patriotism or challenge, to use them.

Shortly, I'd like to get into the Argument that children would be voting for fun and will misunderstand the political world. Based on what I've shown earlier, children under 18 may be more prepared to take politics more seriously than adults already (based on time and resources). Children may be less experienced with taxes but at the formative operational stage by Piaget shows that after approximately age 11, children/adults are able to weigh options based on facts and efficiency. The best part about children that haven't paid taxes: Their opinion of the best option for candidate is based solely on what is best for their state or country. Not individual greed.

The Psychology of Intelligence (1950) by Jean Piaget
EdPsych: ISBN 978-0-07-337850-3
Child Development: ISBN: 978-0-205-61559-9
Debate Round No. 2


Sorry for the delay in answering this debate.

My opponent has made the following points:
1. Child intelligence depends on many factors and does not depend completely on age.
2. Brain Plasticity, in a nutshell, is how the brain is less able to add and store information as it ages. Therefore, children, if taught politics at an early age, will understand them fluently.
3. Even though our society doesn't function like this, laws can benefit the curriculum by adding topics in politics and economics to our textbooks.
4. People of all ages may be influenced by their surroundings, not just children and their parents.
5. Kids, unlike adults, have time for politics and are generally motivated.
6. Eleven-year-olds are old enough to become serious about the political world.
7. Since children have not yet paid taxes, their opinions would be unbiased.

My apologies for an unspecific debate, but I believe a small number of children below 18 are allowed to vote. However, this also means a majority of them cannot do so. I'm sure my contender will agree with the following: little children (ages 1-10) are, indeed, too immature to vote. They not yet have the ability to make decisions.

But this fact does not mean the right of voting should be given to everyone below age 18. Pro describes serious, business-like children in his arguments. It is unfortunately a widely known fact that some American students don't have exactly "top-notch" grades in school. Even if curriculum is changed and politics and economics are taught in schools, not all students may take things seriously or understand the material completely.

Second, even if some students understand the political world, not all of them would be interested in the subject and might not vote altogether. Therefore, Pro, who believes in allowing every single child in the country to vote, bases his opinion on a small group of children in the United States.

Though his arguments are true about some youths' competence in politics, voting, and decision-making, Pro fails to recognize that, by allowing all children to vote, is bringing in a handful of serious politicians and a truckload of some non-interested people.

The "time and resources" Pro suggests that teenagers possess are usually taken up by sporting events, parties, movies, etc. With extra time in their hands, the default action of many Americans is to have fun with that time. Maybe, if there is some extra time, a child may make a quick decision about something just for the pleasure of voting.

Therefore, I hereby agree to the 26th amendment to the United States Constitution.

I enjoy my contender's seriousness about the topic, and I congratulate him on his high chances of winning this debate.


brandonianempire forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by shooterboss 5 years ago
My opponent has forfeited round 3. Any arguments written in my part of round 3 have, therefore, not been countered. Vote Pro.
Posted by brandonianempire 5 years ago
I've got a lot to do for Finals week coming up, so I'll get back with my argument at some point tomorrow night. Sorry for the delay :(
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit