Should 16 and older be able to vote?

Dont forget to register to vote. The deadline is a month before any voting in Ohio.

Don’t forget to register to vote. The deadline is a month before any voting in Ohio.

Siyai Perry, Contributing Writer

With the Dec. special elections coming up, teens and young adults are ready to hop into the polls. The legal voting age in Ohio is currently 18, but should that change?

I don’t think so, high school students shouldn’t be able to vote due to the science of maturity and the average adolescent brain isn’t ready for that responsibility

The main debate between teens and adults, Republicans and Democrats is that ages 16-17 year-olds should not be able to vote because of their mindset and what they learn from their parents. Students and staff at Solon High School (SHS) do not differ from this argument. They feel they are not mature and educated enough to make a bump in the road for voting.

Annenberg Policy research on what adults can name presidential candidates.
A 17-year-old, senior, at SHS feels as if their knowledge of the real world is just getting started.

“They’re just learning how to drive, imagine them in the polls,” said senior Alyse Harris. “Following in their parent’s footsteps, teenagers would vote for who they were raised to like or who their parents like. “

Senior Emily Bednarski agrees.

“Teenagers are easily influenced by parents and peers,” she said.

The student body seems to think teenagers are not mature enough to vote for their next successor.

Just because 16 year-olds do the same tasks that 18 year-olds do, does not mean they should be allowed to do more.

The art director at SHS, Jennifer Thompson, believes that teenagers aren’t ready to work with others when trying to decide who should be in the office.

“Half of the teenagers in this society aren’t ready to listen to other opinions,” said Thompson.

Most of these adults have graduated high school and are going to let high schoolers, the majority who are two years away from receiving the same education as these uninformed adults, have the right to vote?

Students and staff at Solon High School feel 16 and 17-year-olds aren’t well-informed enough to make choices that could affect the rest of the country. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, only 36% of all adults in America can name the three branches of government.

“[16 year-olds] haven’t gone through enough education to vote,” Assistant Principal Carla Rodenbucker said. “Not enough knowledge, and most times not even care.”

Waiting until students graduate, is waiting until they have enough comprehension or understanding of the politics at hand.

The adults that live at the same time as us millennials seem to think we are just too young, and too lazy.

Although legally I am not an adult, I do see an opportunity for the end of Gen Z to voice our opinion. Teenagers in the voting booths could increase voting participation, and could possibly be an up-to-standard and right-minded decision.

Additionally, with the upcoming years of education and knowledge, we need to receive, our votes wouldn’t be valid enough to select the next person in the office. With that kind of power, the candidates could alter and our nation could possibly be at stake.

Ever since the voting age in the United States was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971 by the 26 amendments, officials have ruled out lowering it even more. Overall, coming from an educated teenager, I think the voting age should stay right where it is.