WHY LOWER THE VOTING AGE IN DC?
CREATE LIFELONG VOTERS
Extending voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds in DC can go a long way to ensuring that the District's young people become engaged, lifelong voters. Research shows that voting is a habit, and 16 is a better time to establish that habit than 18. Our democracy works best when more people participate, and lowering the voting age is an important step to make sure young people build a habit of engagement that can last a lifetime.
STRENGTHEN CIVIC LEARNING
Students learn best when the material they study in school is relevant to their lives outside the classroom. The DCPS social studies curriculum includes semesters on US and DC government, and there is no better way to make these classes relevant and powerful than by inviting young people into the voting booth.
ENSURE YOUTH VOICES ARE HEARD
Voting is the most reliable way for ordinary citizens to influence the government, and elected officials naturally pay most attention to those who vote. There is no better way to make sure that young people's voices are heard when it comes to local policymaking than by giving them the right to vote.
"If we were able to vote, we would vote for politicians who would actually improve the school system since we the youth know best. We know what works for us and what doesn't; we would be able to create a better system for all students resulting in a permanent effect, one that doesn't only last for ourselves, but for our siblings and for future generations of students."
- Jenny G., Youth Leader