Questions & Concerns

Is lowering the voting age legal?

YES, the US constitution only prohibits denying the vote to those 18 and older. In fact, two cities in MD already have a voting age of 16. Massachusetts specifically designates the state as having jurisdiction over election law, however the state legislature can allow towns to lower their voting age if petitioned, which is why Vote16 Hilltowns ensures that all warrant articles follow that process. For more on the legality, check out Vote16USA's white paper on the subject.

ARe 16 year olds capable of voting?

YES, 16 year olds have similar voting abilities to 18 year olds. Sixteen and Seventeen year olds have roughly the same level of the cognitive and civic skills used in voting as 18 year olds. Research also shows that they maintain independence from their parents in their voting habits and vote just as responsibly as adults.

Why should 16 year olds, who don't pay Taxes, get to vote on what mine are?

It is illegal under the The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution to make the right to vote dependent on someone's ability to pay taxes. The relevant Supreme Court case can be found here. It should also be pointed out that this would disenfranchise anyone who did not pay property taxes in town, including renters, seniors living in the care of their family, and young adults and college students who still use their parents home as their primary residence. Additionally many 16 year olds do pay income taxes, yet have no say in how they are spent.

Have more Questions? Check out the resources at FairVote and Vote16USA