EDITORIAL: Voter Education — Not Age — Will Make a Difference

When D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) joined the masses of mostly young people from the District at the March for Our Lives rally earlier this year, he marched with his young daughter perched on his shoulders. It was obvious he wanted her to see what was ahead, not just the hundreds of thousands who came to D.C. to rally against gun violence but to get a bird’s eye view of the issues children her age are already confronting. He must have also wanted her to hear how they want to effect change, and she even may have overheard her father making plans to enfranchise them locally at age 16.

Moved by the articulate, visionary and passionate voices of those no older than 19, Allen wasted no time introducing legislation this week to lower the voting age in the District to 16. District youths at 16 are eligible to get a driver’s license, work, pay taxes and help care for family members, and, Allen noted the hours of testimony by District’s youth before the D.C. Council on legislative issues that impact them directly.

“Some people will say young people aren’t mature or educated enough. But I beg to differ,” Allen wrote on his webpage. “Just a few weeks ago, young District residents organized a citywide school walkout and spoke passionately at the Rally for DC Lives calling for an end to gun violence. In hearings on our schools, students testified with informed opinions. And yet, they can’t exercise their voice where it matters most — at the ballot box.”

While we see a perilous path on which the Democratic process is headed for any reasons, permitting 16-year-olds to vote could be a breath of fresh air if they in fact vote.

However, since qualified D.C. electors with no age restriction can also hold elected office in positions other than delegate, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, if the law passes, we predict a few 16-year-olds will run for elected office, as well. If this is the intent of Allen’s bill, we take a pause in supporting it. If serious voter education is required for all 16-year-olds, then a better-informed electorate may bring about the change Allen wants.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker