The Instigator
MikeNovotny
Pro (for)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
Hound
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

People Should Be Able to vote at 16 years old

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Started: 12/20/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,579 times Debate No: 14104
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

MikeNovotny

Pro

Currently, in the United States of America the legal voting age is 18 years old. Now, I'm sure the government has this because when you're at 18 years old you're technically an adult. I think that this is not fair at all because the government is pretty much saying that only adults can decide who rules our country.

But, many people actually believe that 18 is the worst age to start voting because so many steps are being made in the person's life, going to college, getting a job, possibly starting a family/relationship. Studies also show that the sooner you start voting the more confident and consistent voter you'll turn out to be. Many Americans never vote and if this is put in their mind at an earlier age, I believe that the nation could actually get more voters and everyone's voice can be heard. In fact, in the 2000 election people over the age of 50 had twice as many voters than people in the age group of 18-24.

Another argument I'll make is that kids are still in school at the age of 16 unless drop out or early graduation. Usually at this age, kids are taking some type of government class which can actually make them smarter voters. Voting is not necessarily something you get good at since its your stand point. That's why I believe that if we incorporate voting at an earlier age such as 16, we'll have more voters in the future and people will think about it a little more.

I'd definitely like to have a good debate about this. Good luck!

http://www.enquirer.com...
Hound

Con

Greetings to my opponent and the audience! I look forward to a great debate :).

"Currently, in the United States of America the legal voting age is 18 years old. Now, I'm sure the government has this because when you're at 18 years old you're technically an adult. I think that this is not fair at all because the government is pretty much saying that only adults can decide who rules our country."

Yes, you're technically an adult when you're 18 in the United States. Of course adults rule this country: where do you see a teenager running for politician? Where do you see teenagers managing businesses and working at jobs?

"But, many people actually believe that 18 is the worst age to start voting because so many steps are being made in the person's life, going to college, getting a job, possibly starting a family/relationship."

On the contrary, this is the very REASON that the voting limit should stay where it is. At this stage in a person's life, they're learning responsibility. The 18+ year old has most likely already COMPLETED a government class and is at least competently-versed in political affairs. I'd like to note that many of those steps my opponent suggested do not happen contemporarily.

"Studies also show that the sooner you start voting the more confident and consistent voter you'll turn out to be. Many Americans never vote and if this is put in their mind at an earlier age, I believe that the nation could actually get more voters and everyone's voice can be heard. In fact, in the 2000 election people over the age of 50 had twice as many voters than people in the age group of 18-24."

I'd like to see the actual statistics of those studies. Also, the good ol' quote "quality over quantity" applies here. Just because I can buy an expensive car, should I? Just because I can doesn't mean I should. Same with voting. You think a teenager that is in high school and going through the whole "teenager stage" is going to care about politics? Granted, there are exceptions, however the majority of early teenagers are not well-versed in politics.

"Another argument I'll make is that kids are still in school at the age of 16 unless drop out or early graduation. Usually at this age, kids are taking some type of government class which can actually make them smarter voters. Voting is not necessarily something you get good at since its your stand point. That's why I believe that if we incorporate voting at an earlier age such as 16, we'll have more voters in the future and people will think about it a little more."

Simply because teenagers would have the ability to vote does not guarantee that they'll actually put thought into this vote. Have you seen a high school? I'm sure you have. They would incorporate race, ethnicity, how the person looks, the way they are, et cetera. Right, it's your standpoint. 16 year olds have a standpoint in politics? Do you honestly think that we should expand the ability to decide our nation's future for the next 4 years to teenagers? They may not even be well-versed in what presidential candidate wants what and they'll just vote for whomever seems superficially appealing.

I also hope for a wonderful debate. Good luck, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
MikeNovotny

Pro

I actually strongly disagree with when you stated "On the contrary, this is the very REASON that the voting limit should stay where it is. At this stage in a person's life, they're learning responsibility."

Most teenagers begin to learn responsibility at about 16 years old. At this age they're becoming adults, but they're not there yet. They're learning things like having a drivers license and started relationships if haven't started already. But, this particular statement that they learn responsibility at whatever age is more of an opinionated topic.

"You think a teenager that is in high school and going through the whole "teenager stage" is going to care about politics? Granted, there are exceptions, however the majority of early teenagers are not well-versed in politics."

That's actually very true. Not many teenagers are very included in politics. How many Americans who are 18 years old actually care that much? What about people who are 35 years old? A lot do, but then again some actually don't. It seems to me that you're saying people can and should only vote if they're well-versed in politics.

"16 year olds have a standpoint in politics? Do you honestly think that we should expand the ability to decide our nation's future for the next 4 years to teenagers?"

Like I said, how many voters have a standpoint in politics today? I know a lot do but some still don't. So those people shouldn't vote at all? That risks alienating citizens in thinking that the only way for them to have a say is to be politically active. I disagree with that.

"And studies show voting is a habit that has to start early. If people don't start out as voters, they're less likely to ever vote. Some researchers fear that as this generation of nonvoters ages, they will stay that way, causing a dangerous dive in voter turnout as baby boomers and older generations die out. In the 2000 election, senior citizens voted at about twice the rate of 18- to 24-year-olds." By: Carl Weiser of the Enquirer Washington Bureau

To see the actual article go to this link http://www.enquirer.com...

Good luck to you!
Hound

Con

"Most teenagers begin to learn responsibility at about 16 years old. At this age they're becoming adults, but they're not there yet. They're learning things like having a drivers license and started relationships if haven't started already. But, this particular statement that they learn responsibility at whatever age is more of an opinionated topic."

You're right, responsibility stems at its own time. However, it occurs most often in a setting where one is ready to venture out onto their own. Allow me to elaborate. If someone's going to go to college, gonna have the dorm and be living on their own for a change, it initiates a tinge of self-realization. The person realizes how to sustain themselves, the tricks to doing laundry, food, attire, sleep schedules, all of it. They learn responsibility. It's our system that helps nudge teens to that stage. A 16 year old is still in high school, working on grades, perhaps even slacking off, too busy with relationships and learning how to cope with angst and acne let alone to vote.

"That's actually very true. Not many teenagers are very included in politics. How many Americans who are 18 years old actually care that much? What about people who are 35 years old? A lot do, but then again some actually don't. It seems to me that you're saying people can and should only vote if they're well-versed in politics."

The majority of Americans that DO vote actually know what they're doing. No, I'm not saying people who are only well-versed in politics should vote. What I am saying is that people should only vote if they have analyzed all parties, considered possibilities, found one they actually AGREE with, and so on and so forth. Basically, I expect them to make a smart vote. Do you really expect this from a teenager? Let's face it, teens don't give much towards America. Many don't care who is president as long as it doesn't impact them in any way. Again, there's exceptions, but this is the general mindset.

Like I said, how many voters have a standpoint in politics today? I know a lot do but some still don't. So those people shouldn't vote at all? That risks alienating citizens in thinking that the only way for them to have a say is to be politically active. I disagree with that."

Um. How else WOULD citizens have a say? You seem to think I'm saying that everyone needs a PhD in politics or something. No. They need to know what's going on with the presidential candidates, who's advocating what, who seems to be the better choice, etc. Honestly, America would be much better if only COMPETENT voters voted. "Quality over quantity."

There is an infinitesimal leap from 16 year old to 18 year old. I doubt a teenager is going to shun voting if they have to wait 2 years. Senior citizens voted more because they have more knowledge and experience. Nothing to do with age, rather with retrospect.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
MikeNovotny

Pro

Let me just say that you're mainly referring to "teen" as a 16 year old. We have to both keep in mind that an eighTEEN year old is still a teen. Just saying that so we can avoid confusion.

Definition of "vote": express one's preference for
wordnetweb.princeton.edu

"What I'm saying is that people should only vote if they have analyzed all parties, considered possibilities, found one they actually agree with, and so on, and so forth. Basically, I expect them to make a smart vote. Do you really expect this from a teenager? Let's face it, teens don't give much towards America."

Yeah, you're probably right by saying they should vote when they found one they actually agree with. But how do they agree with a party? Politically or just because they think one's better than the other. There's practically no law that says voting only can take place if one thoroughly analyzes a party. Not everyone votes the same way. Not everyone puts the same things into consideration. Teens can actually give a lot to America because many start serving in the military at 18 and get a job before that.

At the age of 16 teens can be treated like an adult. They can pay taxes, have a driver's license with little to no restrictions and can be charged for adult crimes even death penalty, get married and so on.

In conclusion, 16 year olds should be allowed to vote because, they are young but intelligent. Like stated before, 16 year olds are often taking some type of government class or civics at that age which could make it one of the key ages to start. It pretty much means they could be the smarter voters. Governments, including the United States are desperate to bring the young people back into the civic fold, to try and make them feel they have a stake in their country. Incorporating voting at an earlier age is essential because less and less people are voting every year. Earlier you said that many 16 year olds won't do it. Exactly. If that's what you're saying then only the ones who will know what's going on will vote and have the say, although I think many more should vote.

Thank you for this great debate Con.
Hound

Con

I'm using teen as a means of classifying those below the "adult" line of demarcation (18 years old.)

"Yeah, you're probably right by saying they should vote when they found one they actually agree with. But how do they agree with a party? Politically or just because they think one's better than the other. There's practically no law that says voting only can take place if one thoroughly analyzes a party. Not everyone votes the same way. Not everyone puts the same things into consideration. Teens can actually give a lot to America because many start serving in the military at 18 and get a job before that."
See, the thing is, they agree to a party though their own ideology. They should have done research on whom all is running and what presidential candidate better suits their own ideology. Of course, not everyone votes this way, which is an example of inconsiderate voting. Teenagers are currently LEARNING government other things around this age, therefore they need to broaden their horizons more by investing more time in the class before actually venturing to vote. The difference is that an 18 year old is going to college, learning how to sustain themselves, finding jobs, getting married, managing fiscal needs. All of this may seem like a handicap, but it's really a symbol of adulthood and responsibility. Teenagers are dependent on their parents at 16.

"At the age of 16 teens can be treated like an adult. They can pay taxes, have a driver's license with little to no restrictions and can be charged for adult crimes even death penalty, get married and so on."
The death penalty argument is only applicable in a few states (and by few, I mean like 3.) Teenagers are not completely adults yet, this is more of a pre-adult initiation. Voting itself is a vital part of America, and the majority of individuals go to college at this point. As I stated, this gives a sense of responsibility, and in addition they've completed government classes and the like and well-versed by the time they graduate. Many teens, as I said, would simply not care and vote for whomever seems more superficially appealing or who preaches a good game. Many adults may do this too, but we do not need teens to jump on that bandwagon too.

In conclusion, voting at the age of 16 is unneeded, as teenagers are going through high school and are simply just beginning their government classes. More and more people apparently vote less each year, however if this holds true then should teenagers that don't care have the ability to vote? Many would vote simply to vote. This could dangerously shift America's equilibrium into having a leader that caters to not the majority, but the teens' inconsiderate vote. 16 year olds would do it, but simply to vote for whomever seems appealing. "Omg, a black president? No wayyyy, voting Sarah!" We do not need a cataclysm happening by electing Palin (irrelevant, but it proves a point.)

Thank you, Pro. This was a fun debate :D.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by FREEDO 3 years ago
FREEDO
I say there should be no age limit.
Posted by Johnicle 3 years ago
Johnicle
hmmm.... no one should be allowed to vote?

it would be more appropriately set at 15? lol

or maybe the age should be 50... oh the possibilities!
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Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 3 years ago
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