Voting Age

25 states currently allow a 17 year old to vote in primaries

voting age
click on the map for more information

 

The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevents states from “denying” suffrage to 18-year-olds, but does not prevent states and cities from establishing a lower voting age.
Reduction of Voting Age – 26th Amendment

Problem:
A 16 year old in the state of Texas can get married, drive, work full time, pay taxes and be sentenced as an adult in a court of law.
Yet, they aren’t able to have a say in our electoral system.

Solution(s):

  • Allow a 17 year old to vote in primaries and caucuses
  • Lower the voting age to 17 state wide
  • Lower the voting age to 16 state wide

Alternatives:

  • Allow 14 to 17 year olds to vote on city and county budgets through participatory budgeting similar to Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and other countries

 

Texas Constitution
Code – Election code
Chapter 11 – Qualifications and Requirements for Voting
Sec. 11.002 – Qualified Voter

Code- The Texas Constitution
Article 6 – Suffrage
Section 1 – Class of Persons Not Allowed to Vote

 

Rolling Stone – Why We Should Lower the Voting Age in America

Ballotpedia – Voting in primaries at 17 years old

Washington Post – Hyattsville becomes second U.S. municipality to lower voting age to 16

San Francisco Lower Voting Age: Letting 16-Year-Olds Vote Could Set National Precedent, Increase Turnout

San Francisco Examiner – San Francisco examines lowering voting age and other methods to boost turn out

Fair Vote – 17 year old Primary Voting , Increasing Youth Engagement Through Participation

The Guardian – Why 16 is the perfect age to start voting

USA Today – Austria first to lower voting age to 16

The Guardian view on lowering the voting age to 16

Texas Secretary of State – Voting

Youth activists hope to make San Francisco the first major U.S. city where 16- and 17-year-olds can cast a ballot.

New York Times – Campaign to Lower Voting Age to 16 in Local Races Ignites a Debate

Wall Street Journal – Lower Voting Age Gains Traction in Some Cities

Wall Street Journal – Scotland Lowered Voting Age to 16 for Independence Referendum

The Guardian – Votes for 16- and 17-year-olds – where else outside Scotland?

National Youth Rights Association – Top Ten Reasons to Lower the Voting Age

How lowering the voting age to 16 can be an opportunity to improve youth political engagement Lessons learned from the Scottish Independence Referendum

Experiments in Political Socialization: Kids Voting USA as a Model for Civic Education Reform

National Institute for Health – Voting at 16: Turnout and the quality of vote choice

Leaving the Nest and the Social Act of Voting: Turnout among First-Time Voters

Rutgers – American Sixteen- and Seventeen-Year-Olds Are Ready to Vote

NPR – Unlikely Advocates Push To Give 16-Year-Olds A Vote — And A Voice

Politico – Why the voting age should be 17

Think Progress – Now, 17-Year-Olds In Ohio Won’t Be Allowed To Vote In This Month’s Primary

New Mexico allows 17-year-olds to vote in primaries

ABC – Californians weigh in on lower voting age

Proposed state amendment could lower voting age in Arizona to 16

Philadelphia Citizen – Ideas We Should Steal: Lower Voting Age to 16

Vermont Public Radio – It’s Time To Talk About Letting 16-Year-Olds Vote

Independent – Richard Branson calls for voting age to be lowered to 16 in wake of Brexit

New Jersey Bill to Expand Primary Voting Rights Clears Assembly

The Nation – Sweet 16: The Case for Lowering the Voting Age

Voice of America – Greece to Lower Voting Age, Adopt Proportional System

The Daily Pennsylvanian – Reflecting on the anniversary of the 26th Amendment

The research behind Edmonton’s new debate on voting at 16