Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Wednesday proposed an amendment to her party’s election bill that would lower the voting age to 16.
“By lowering the federal voting age from 18 to 16 years of age, my amendment would enfranchise young Americans to help shape and form the policies that will set the course for our future,” Pressley, a member of the “squad” of far-left congresswomen, said on the House floor.
“We must do right by the young organizers and activists who have fought for our democracy,” she said in her closing remarks.
“They have a stake hold in our democracy and deserve to have a stake at the ballot box.”
The majority of Pressley’s colleagues did not feel the same way, as the amendment failed 125-302, with all those voting in favor being her fellow Democrats.
The amendment would have been included in the HR 1 voting rights package, the so-called For the People Act, Fox News reported.
If signed into law, #HR1 will:
❌ Use taxpayer $$ to fund politicians’ election campaigns, whether they support them or not
❌ Legalize ballot harvesting nationwide
❌ Toss out state voter ID laws
I’m voting no. Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/LzdCLU6QSK
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) March 3, 2021
Progressive leaders support lowering the voting age in hopes of energizing and growing their voting base, as younger people tend to vote Democratic.
In the 2020 election, 65 percent of people ages 18 to 24 voted for President Joe Biden, and that favorable trend for Democrats shows no signs of stopping.
“All over the country, and in my district especially, we see young activists working tirelessly to make their voices heard — from battling climate change and gun violence to advocating for racial justice and economic equality,” Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky said in a news release about lowering the voting age.
Republicans have slammed the failed amendment and HR 1 as radical and compromising to election integrity.
“Now the majority of Democrat members voted to change the legal voting age to 16. Apparently they don’t think #HR1 — which would fund political campaigns with taxpayer dollars, legalize ballot harvesting, and nationalize our elections — is radical enough already,” Wisconsin Republican Rep. Scott Fitzgerald tweeted.
Now the majority of Democrat members voted to change the legal voting age to 16. Apparently they don’t think #HR1—which would fund political campaigns with taxpayer dollars, legalize ballot harvesting, and nationalize our elections—is radical enough already.
— Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (@RepFitzgerald) March 3, 2021
While young people have taken the lead in many progressive causes, including the Black Lives Matter movement and gun control, and, to a lesser extent, conservative causes, nobody under 18 should be allowed to vote.
This is mostly a matter of education and life experience. It is fair to say that the vast majority of 16-year-olds are not in a good position to make choices that would directly impact the country.
Nope. Bad call. Have you met many 16 year olds?
— MM Wilson (@ememwilson123) March 3, 2021
It is very important that teenagers get a proper civics education and even find different ways to get involved in politics if they are interested.
While it is safe to say that there are likely some 16-year-olds more educated about who to vote for than their older counterparts, clear boundaries need to be set.
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