Politics/Political Process

CITIZEN VOICES®

Allow 16-year-olds to vote?

May 29, 2018

The 26th Amendment says that states cannot set a voting age higher than 18, though they can set a lower voting age. Supporters of lowering it say young people are becoming more involved in politics and are anxious to help choose candidates who reflect their values. Others claim 16-year-olds lack the maturity to understand the consequences of their actions and are too easily swayed by others’ opinions.

Read more about issues related to the voting age in New Hampshire

“Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote in NH in the 2020 elections?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page May 15, 2018

193 citizens responded167 citizens were opposed to allowing 16-year-olds to vote8 citizens were in favor of allowing 16-year-olds to vote18 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 167 citizens were opposed to allowing 16-year-olds to vote.

  • “There is no rational person who thinks this is a good idea. The only people who think this is a good idea are the ones who want to exploit children for their votes.”
  • “Sometimes I think that even 18 years old is not mature enough to vote, but definitely not 16.”
  • “They are not old enough to drink, enter the armed forces or enter a movie that is rated NC17. So why would you allow them to vote?”

Yes: 8 citizens were in favor of allowing 16-year-olds to vote.

  • “They are our future. We should welcome their civic engagement, not fear it.”
  • “I see lots of 16 year olds working and being productive and I support the move.”
  • “We have heaped debt and ill will on their shoulders.  Who are we to say they cannot vote?”

Other: 18 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included questions around civic education:

  • “There is a huge percentage - guess 60% - of adults who do not have enough knowledge to really know how our government works.”
  • “Pass a Civics exam or no dice.”
  • “Many families hardly see each other outside a mad dash to get to work and school on time in the morning and a couple homework and task filled hours in the evenings. Kids these days probably see their teachers more than their parents.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

Comments

Mike Dunbar
- Hampton

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 2:09pm

Comment: 

I think I'd sooner support raising the age a person can get their drivers license before I'd support lowering the voting age.

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