A Step By Step Guide to changing the Voting Age in Your Town
Step 1-Assemble a citizen's petition
This is the first step in the process. All you'll need is our model town petition language, your town's name and at least 10 signatures from registered voters. The first step is to get the petition form, which is usually found on your town's website (if you can't find it, let us know). Once you have it simply add our model language with your town's name. Then you just need at least 10 signatures from registered voters in your town, but we recommend collecting at least 20-25 just to be safe. Go out there and get your signatures! Start with friends and family, then hit main street if you don't have enough. Once you have your completed petition you need to drop it off at the town clerk, whose office hours you can find by looking on your town website.
Step 2-Town Meeting
After submitting a citizen's petition, your article will appear on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant. You can check your town website for the time and place of Town Meeting. The most important, and difficult, part of the process is convincing your fellow citizens that changing the voting age is for the better. If you haven't already, you can contact us for information and guidance on how to present your article on your town meeting floor. After debate ends the town will vote on your article, if it passes you move on to Step 3.
Step 3-Petition the legislature
We work with the town to send a letter to your MA Representative to begin the legislative process to lower the voting age. The legislative process is complex, but Vote16HT will be there to help lobby your officials and keep the legislative process moving. If all goes well the legislature will pass a law that will...
Step 4-Hold a Referendum
The legislature will likely direct the town to hold a referendum formally adopting a lower voting age. Make sure to campaign – op-eds in the paper and talking with voters on the street are two great strategies. Once this passes the change becomes law! Your town has become one of a select group of communities to let 16 and 17 year olds vote!