Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Tuesday evening introduced legislation to lower the federal voting age from 18 to 16.
Pressley cited teen activists pushing for gun control as a reason for giving 16-year-olds the right to vote, which the congresswoman compared to having a driver’s license.
“Young people are at the forefront of some of our most existential crises,” Pressley added.
“The time has come. Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”
Two other Democratic congresswomen, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and New York Rep. Grace Meng, offered their support for Pressley’s legislation.
“I’m committed to making sure we empower young people to build our future together. Giving them the power to vote will help build a more equitable and just future,” Meng said in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
Tonight I’m testifying before @RulesDemocrats to argue why it is important to lower the voting age to 16 with @RepPressley! Our young people can work and pay taxes. Let’s also make sure they can make their voices heard by voting in all elections. 1/2
— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) March 6, 2019
I’m committed to making sure we empower young people to build our future together. Giving them the power to vote will help build a more equitable and just future. I urge my colleagues to include the Meng/Pressley amendment to lower the voting age to 16 in #HR1! #ForthePeople 2/2 https://t.co/o4tdqW3ON9
— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) March 6, 2019
Tlaib tweeted her support for Pressley’s amendment on Wednesday.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 6, 2019
Some Twitter users weren’t as enthusiastic.
maybe need to increase to 21 so they have time to learn history before they vote …
— Danny Fishman (@Dannyfishman1) March 6, 2019
Only if we lower the drink age, buying cigarettes, gambling, ability to purchase guns and weed. Let’s also lower the age for charging someone as adult for crimes. This is a great idea !!! What could possibly go wrong?!?!!
— Four Brothers Arms (@MulcahySgt) March 6, 2019
Bring it to 10, not because it has any logic behind it, but its a nice even number and I was excited when I turned 10.
— Ron Murphy (@GRIP2013) March 6, 2019
The only reason you’d want 16 year olds to vote is because they are very easy to manipulate due to lack of life experience. 18 is too young in my opinion.
— Beeston Bealey (@BealeyBeeston) March 6, 2019
Democrats are losing the black vote because they are finally waking up to being used by democrats!
So now they are in desperate need of votes so they are going after illegals and 16 year olds!
— BILL (@BILLMCBEE1963) March 6, 2019
Most 16 year olds aren’t mature enough to comb their hair, brush their teeth and wash their hands after they tinkle without being told to – do you really want them voting? If you say yes, you probably shouldn’t vote either.
— Ken Field (@KenField4) March 6, 2019
How absurd. Your party will do anything to try to build up a voter base. It’s pathetic. 16-year-olds do not know what it’s like to take care of themselves, to work for a living, to provide food and shelter for themselves or a family don’t know what it’s like in the real 🌎
— Dev Missa (@DevMissa) March 6, 2019
We had a hard time trusting them with laundry detergent a year ago… Of course they should be voting
— Michael1974 (@mike061074) March 6, 2019
Pressley proposed the change as an amendment to House Democrats’ “For The People Act,” which would amend campaign finance laws.
The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union has already come out against the bill, citing “provisions that unconstitutionally impinge on the free speech rights of American citizens and public interest organizations.”
“They will have the effect of harming our public discourse by silencing necessary voices that would otherwise speak out about the public issues of the day,” the ACLU said in a letter to the House Rules Committee.
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