16-year-olds may gain right to vote in San Francisco

Olivia Reinert, Rampage Reporter

San Francisco is introducing a proposition that, if passed, would allow 16-year old to have voting rights. If successful, this motion would make San Francisco the first major US city to give voting rights to citizens under 18.

The ballots will be cast in November.

This is not the first time that the question of voting rights for 16- and 17-year old’s has been introduced to the US. There have been a couple motions in recent years that would allow 16-year olds to vote, including as an amendment bill in 2019 introduced to the House that failed to reach a majority vote that would allow it to continue into the Senate.

However, why exactly should 16 and 17-year old’s be able to vote in the US? What are the arguments?

One of the bigger considerations in the situation is that young people deserve to have a say in the country’s politics just as much as any other person. Young people are crucial to a country’s development, and by leaving 16 and 17-year-olds out of politics, part of an entire demographic is being ignored.

The young people are the ones who will have to live with most of these changes for the long-term, and young people have shown in the past that they deserve to have their voice heard.

The students at Parkland were protesting for stricter gun laws back when almost none of them had a vote. Another important mention is Greta Thunberg, who is now a household name. She is only seventeen.

However, a rebuttal is that 16 and 17-year-olds are simply not mature enough to make an educated decision. At least with 18-year olds they have or are close to completing high school, yet 16-year-olds are barely half-way through. The brain is still developing and going through major changes during those years. Plainly put, 16-year-olds are not stable enough to have voting rights.

What do you believe? Should 16-year old’s be given the right to vote, or should the voting age remain as it is?


Should 16-year-olds have the right to vote?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


For more information, visit:

San Francisco could soon allow 16-year-olds to vote. The country should follow | Isabel Hope. (2020, September 16). The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/16/san-francisco-could-allow-16-year-olds-to-vote-the-rest-of-the-country-should-follow

Omondi, S. (2017, September 7). Legal Voting Age by Country. WorldAtlas. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/legal-voting-age-by-country.html

Castronuovo, C. (2020, September 12). San Francisco considers changing local voting age to 16. TheHill. https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/516155-san-francisco-considers-changing-local-voting-age-to-16