Let children vote - Even 13-year-olds

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In fact, nearly every objection one could have to children's suffrage has been thoroughly rejected as a reason to deny anyone else the right to vote. Consider that many adults can't or don't follow complex policy issues, or don't care enough to vote. Even in heated presidential elections, hardly more than half of eligible voters go to the polls. But we'd consider it undemocratic to deny citizens the right to vote based on presumed ignorance or actual disuse. We may discount the opinions of people who think NASA faked the moon landing, but we still count their ballots - and most Americans would agree it's important that we do.

Young people might just vote the way their parents tell them to - but traditionally, the party of your parents has always been the strongest indicator of your voting habits. We don't seem to mind when voters take cues from their parents once they're 18, so why do we object when they're younger? Children voting like their parents doesn't violate one-person, one vote - it validates it. A child is a person, too. [...]

So what's the best way forward? Perhaps in an ideal world we would let children vote when they felt they were ready, but political exigencies won't allow a law like that anytime soon. Even my preferred starting age - 13 - would be a stretch. [...] Whatever the method, finding a way to enfranchise more young people is the right thing to do for children, for adults, and for our democracy. "Won't somebody think of the children?" has become a cliche of our political discourse. But maybe we should stop thinking for them, and let them think - and speak - for themselves.

source: Article 'Let children vote. Even 13-year-olds.' by Laurence Pevsner (speechwriter at West Wing Writers); www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/10/27/let-children-vote-even-13-year-olds/; The Washington Post; 27 October 2016