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Voting Age: Should the voting age be lowered to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy?

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  1. 1. Voting Age Should the voting age be lowered to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy? Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests.
  2. 2. Voting Age Should the voting age be lowered to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy?
  3. 3. Introduction • Young people are turning away from institutional politics and traditional forms of democratic participation. • Across the world, youth (broadly defined as 18-34 year-olds), frustrated with prevailing and worsening economic inequality and inaction on pressing issues like climate change and racial justice, increasingly indicate that they do not believe that the current system of democracy can deliver real results to people.
  4. 4. Young people are turning away from institutional politics and traditional forms of democratic participation
  5. 5. Introduction • There are wide-ranging policy reforms and educational initiatives that can and should be pursued to repair democracy and young people’s faith in it. • One potential reform that can bring more young people into the political process is lowering the voting age to 16.
  6. 6. One potential reform that can bring more young people into the political process is lowering the voting age to 16
  7. 7. Introduction • A recent analysis of the long-term effects of lowering the voting age in five countries demonstrated an average 5 percent increase in overall turnout. • This expanded youth turnout can lead to long-term benefits for democratic participation. • Lowering the voting age can also strengthen the call for civic education.
  8. 8. A recent analysis of the long-term effects of lowering the voting age in five countries demonstrated an average 5 percent increase in overall turnout
  9. 9. Voting Age • A voting age is a minimum age established by law that a person must attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election. • As of the present day, the most common voting age is 18 years; however, voting ages as low as 16 and as high as 25 currently exist. • Most countries have set a minimum voting age, often set in their constitution. • In a number of countries voting is compulsory for those eligible to vote, while in most it is optional.
  10. 10. Voting Age • Most countries have a minimum voting age of 18 years; however, since the turn of this century, several countries have had ongoing debates about reducing the voting age to 17 or 16, and several jurisdictions have legislated to lower the voting age.
  11. 11. Voting Age The following countries have different minimum voting ages: 16 years: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany (only in some local elections), Malta, Nicaragua, Scotland 17 years: Indonesia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste 19 years: Republic of Korea 20 years: Bahrain, Cameroon, Nauru 21 years: Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tonga 25 years: United Arab Emirates
  12. 12. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • Around 2000, a number of countries began to consider whether the voting age ought to be reduced further, with arguments most often being made in favor of a reduction to 16.
  13. 13. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • In Brazil, the age was lowered to 16 in the 1988 Constitution, while the lower voting age took effect for the first time in the 1989 Presidential Election. • The earliest moves in Europe came during the 1990s, when the voting age for municipal elections in some States of Germany was lowered to 16.
  14. 14. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • In 2007, Austria became the first country to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in national elections, with the expanded franchise first being consummated in the 2009 European Parliament election.
  15. 15. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • During the 2000s several proposals for a reduced voting age were put forward in U.S. states, including California, Florida and Alaska, but none were successful. • In Oregon, Senate Joint Resolution 22 has been introduced to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16.
  16. 16. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16
  17. 17. Voting ages around the world • Eighteen is the most common voting age, with a small minority of countries differing from this rule. • Those with a national minimum age of 17 include East Timor, Greece, Indonesia, North Korea, South Sudan and Sudan. • The minimum age is 16 in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Malta, Nicaragua, Scotland and Wales, and the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. • The highest minimum voting age is 21 in several nations. Some countries have variable provision for the minimum voting age, whereby a lower age is set for eligibility to vote in state, regional or municipal elections.
  18. 18. Voting ages around the world • The arguments for lowering the voting generally revolve around comparisons with non-electoral rights and responsibilities, international comparisons, level of political awareness and interest among the young, and the issue of maturity.
  19. 19. Voting ages around the world
  20. 20. Voting ages around the world • In general, those in favor are convinced that lowering the voting age to 16 – in combination with stronger civic and voter education programs in schools – could increase the political participation of youth.
  21. 21. Voting ages around the world • The advocates for a lower voting age seek to strengthen their case by noting that 16-year-olds participate in political debates on social media and events, work, pay taxes, rent houses, and join the armed forces in some countries. • Consequently, given their contributions to society, they should have the right to vote and hold representatives accountable for decisions that are affecting their daily lives.
  22. 22. The advocates for a lower voting age seek to strengthen their case by noting that 16-year-olds participate in political debates
  23. 23. Voting ages around the world • Research shows that 16-17-year-olds are more likely to vote than 18-20-year-olds, so giving them the vote when slightly younger enables them to vote when it is most convenient for them.
  24. 24. Voting ages around the world • The main arguments raised by opponents of lowering voting ages to 16 or another age younger than 18 are that younger people lack the maturity to grapple with complex political processes and that they would most likely be influenced by the positions of their parents or other adults. • The relationship between age, maturity, and intelligence is complex and contentious.
  25. 25. The main arguments raised by opponents of lowering voting ages to 16
  26. 26. Voting ages around the world • Developmental assumptions about what young people are capable of understanding and what motivates their behavior can influence public debate. • The assumption that young people do not have enough life experience or maturity on which to base important decisions (such as voting), and also that they are easily manipulated, is hotly debated.
  27. 27. The assumption that young people do not have enough life experience or, is hotly debated.
  28. 28. Voting ages around the world • There is a school of thought that believes there should be no fixed minimum age; that it should instead be for the individual to decide the age at which he or she is ready to vote; the suggestion being that if you are interested enough, you are mature enough. • But most supporters of change accept that there should be some fixed age at which voting is permitted, usually 16 or 17.
  29. 29. There is a school of thought that believes there should be no fixed minimum age; that it should instead be for the individual to decide the age at which he or she is ready to vote
  30. 30. Voting ages around the world • This debate intersects with the discourse on the rights of children and adolescents and specifically on the issue of legal minimum age legislation, which can be contentious, contextual, and contradictory. • In setting age limits, states have to balance protection with empowerment and rights. • Human rights law says that there can be restrictions on who can vote in an election, as long as those restrictions are based on objective and reasonable criteria.
  31. 31. This debate intersects with the discourse on the rights of children and adolescents and specifically on the issue of legal minimum age legislation
  32. 32. Voting ages around the world • All states have limited eligibility to vote based on age, no country allows people under 16 to vote in national elections, and only a minority allow young people aged between 16 and 18 the right to vote in national or municipal elections, some with conditions such as being employed or married.
  33. 33. Countries that have lowered the voting age • Several of the countries that have lowered the voting age have opted for an incremental approach, introducing the new legislation in one local district, for example, as a test-case before expanding to other districts. • This approach was adopted in various jurisdictions in Austria, Germany, Norway, and the United States, but only Austria has expanded the legislation to all elections.
  34. 34. Countries that have lowered the voting age
  35. 35. Countries that have lowered the voting age • Since the 2010s, several jurisdictions have attempted to lower the voting age to 16 or 17 years of age – some have been successful while other attempts have been short-lived. • Norway experimented with a lowered voting age in 2011 in selected municipalities as a pilot.
  36. 36. Countries that have lowered the voting age • Despite the growing momentum in many of these countries, there is also considerable resistance to lowering the voting age among the public and politicians.
  37. 37. Countries that have lowered the voting age • There has been limited data in relation to the experience of those jurisdictions that have lowered the voting age. • And even with the more recent experiences, there have only been one or two election cycles in which to assess the impact of the legislation on patterns relating to voter turnout, voting behavior, and other potential consequences of the legislation. • Future research is needed to examine the short-term and long-term impacts of such electoral reform.
  38. 38. Countries that have lowered the voting age • The early data is, however, fairly consistent: “Studies from a municipal election in the United States, as well as national elections in Denmark and Austria, have shown that 16- and 17-year-olds are avid political participants and that voting at 16 and 17 is habit-forming. • Socialized into a culture of participation early on, 16- and 17-year-old voters may age into more politically active older people than those who do not vote for the first time until they are 18 or 19.”
  39. 39. Strong Reasons for Reducing the voting Age • Lowering the voting age is a new concept for many people, but there are many good reasons that show doing so is a sound and ethical choice.
  40. 40. Young people have adult responsibilities, but are denied the same rights. • People under 18 are contributing and active members of society. • Many people under 18 also have “adult” responsibilities – such as being the primary caregiver for an ailing family member, running a business, and making substantial financial contributions to our households. • People under age 18 have the ability to win a Nobel Prize, reach the summit of Mount Everest, conduct cancer research, become published authors, teach a graduate- level course in nuclear physics, run their own schools, work for NASA, and risk their lives to save others. • If young people are capable of such a variety of amazing feats, certainly they have the capacity to vote for the candidate that best represents their interests.
  41. 41. Young people have adult responsibilities, but are denied the same rights.
  42. 42. Young people are expected to follow the law, but have no say in making it. • People under 18 are expected to follow adult laws and experience adult consequences if we don’t do so. • In every state, it is possible for a case to be transferred out of juvenile court into adult criminal court, and in certain states all crimes committed by 16- and 17-year-olds are automatically transferred. • Approximately 250,000 people under age 18 are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States. • This means that not only does our society expect young people to know “right from wrong” and the consequences for breaking certain laws, but our society also expects that they are able to navigate the adult legal system and are mature enough to be placed in adult prisons. • It is hypocritical to tell us that they are mature, responsible adults when they commit a crime, but ignorant and naive when they want to vote.
  43. 43. Young people are expected to follow the law, but have no say in making it.
  44. 44. Young people are already participating in politics. • Despite attempts to exclude young people from the political process, they are still making their voices heard. • Young people have started ultimately successful campaigns for mayor and state legislature before they were even old enough to vote.
  45. 45. Young people make good voters. • When the voting age has been lowered to 16, young people have shown their interest in voting. • In 2013, when Takoma Park, Maryland, lowered its voting age to 16, registered voters under 18 had a turnout rate four times higher than voters over 18. And again in Hyattsville, Maryland (the second place in the U.S. to lower the voting age to 16), registered 16- and 17-year-old voters had a higher turnout out rate than older voters. • Seventeen-year-olds also had a higher turnout rate than people aged 20-50 in the Chicago Primary in 2014.
  46. 46. Takoma Park, Maryland, lowered its voting age to 16, registered voters under 18 had a turnout rate four times higher than voters over 18.
  47. 47. Young people make good voters. • Similar trends have occurred outside the United States. • Voters aged 16 to 17 had a higher turnout rate than older voters under age 30 in Norway’s 2011 elections, voters under 35 in Scotland’s 2014 referendum election, and voters aged 18-20 in Austria’s elections in 2011 and 2014.
  48. 48. Young people make good voters.
  49. 49. Young people make good voters. • People under 18 have also participated in politics by forming Political Action Committees, managing campaigns, advocating for our rights in front of legislative bodies, and becoming grassroots activists. And even though we are not allowed to vote, young people are able to contribute just as much money to a political campaign as adults are. • In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that banning people under 18 from this part of the political process actually violates our First Amendment rights.
  50. 50. Young people make good voters. • Although it can be difficult to determine what constitutes a “good vote” , a group of researchers tried to determine the quality of votes cast by people under 18 by comparing how well their votes aligned with their stated values. • Voters aged 16-17 were found to have made choices that were “more congruent with party positions” leaving the researchers to conclude that “lowering the voting age does not appear to have a negative impact on input legitimacy and the quality of democratic decisions.”
  51. 51. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • Young people have a right to be heard and to have their interests taken seriously. • However, by disenfranchising young people society they do not have anything of value to add to the political conversations in our society. • It also gives politicians permission to ignore interests as people under 18 have no way to hold their representatives accountable.
  52. 52. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth.
  53. 53. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • This is especially concerning since there are certain issues, such as environmental degradation, public education policy, long-term government debt, corporal punishment laws, and poverty that impact young people more than anyone else. • Younger people may also be better in tune with modern issues around internet privacy and social media use.
  54. 54. Younger people may also be better in tune with modern issues around internet privacy and social media use.
  55. 55. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • But since young people are underrepresented in politics, the issues affecting us are underrepresented as well. • Lowering the voting age will also help to increase the civic engagement of young people.
  56. 56. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • The words spoken before the Senate Judiciary Committee supporting lowering the voting age in 1971 are as true then as they are now: • “The anachronistic voting-age limitation tends to alienate them from systematic political processes and to drive them to a search for an alternative, sometimes violent, means to express their frustrations over the gap between the nation’s deals and actions. • Lowering the voting age will provide them with a direct, constructive and democratic channel for making their views felt and for giving them a responsible stake in the future of the nation.” (1971 U.S. Code Cong. Admin. News at pp. 365-367)
  57. 57. There are no wrong votes. • In a democracy, we don’t deny people the vote because we think they might vote badly. • It can be easy to feel baffled by the way other people vote, even if we know them very well. • Many people believe that there are voters who are completely ignorant of the issues, woefully misguided about the economy, who get their political ideas from biased media, vote for candidates based on their personality, and are completely naive about the world. • And yet, disenfranchising people simply because we disagree with them is not considered a serious position, unless that group happens to be disenfranchised already. • No advocate for lowering the voting age believes that young people will always vote intelligently, especially since not everyone can agree on what that means.
  58. 58. In a democracy, we don’t deny people the vote because we think they might vote badly.
  59. 59. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think • When the United States decided to end age discrimination in voting for everyone 18 and over in all elections, it adopted the 26th Constitutional Amendment. • The Amendment’s overwhelming and bipartisan support allowed it to make history as the quickest Constitutional Amendment ever to be ratified. • Today, lowering the voting age continues to have wide support. Nearly half of US states have seen legislative attempts to lower the voting age in the last two decades, including four towns in Maryland that have successfully lowered their voting age to 16. Internationally, more than 25 countries have a voting age lower than 18 and many more are looking at following their lead.
  60. 60. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think
  61. 61. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think • In most nations, the minimum voting age is set at eighteen years In the past, the minimum age to vote was twenty one years, but after several debates, this was lowered to eighteen years. • When individuals reach this age, they are considered to be adults. As an adult, one should be able to analyze different situations, think critically, and thus make wise decisions. • Every decision leads to some consequences. Regardless of the consequences, whether negative or positive, the responsible adult can be held accountable for them. • This is the reason that the minimum voting age limit has been set at eighteen years in many states
  62. 62. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think
  63. 63. Advantages of lowering the Voting Age • Young people have a unique way of looking at things. This special quality is lost as the child gets older. • The uniqueness may compel them to vote for certain people who they feel will be able to address their issues better, something that older adults may not do because they are unduly influenced by other factors. • It is also argued that generally youths can vote wisely, since they too are able to make good decisions on their own.
  64. 64. It is also argued that generally youths can vote wisely, since they too are able to make good decisions on their own
  65. 65. Advantages of lowering the Voting Age • Youths of today mature faster than they did in the past Their quick growth and maturity can be attributed to a number of factors, such as exposure to platforms from where they learn the realities of life with great speed. • The media is one such platform. • Further, the more people vote, the more votes a candidate or political party will receive. • This places a particular party or candidate, who has the interests of youths at heart, at an advantage over others.
  66. 66. Youths of today mature faster than they did in the past
  67. 67. It develops healthy civic habits in teens. • Younger children are influenced by their home environment when learning at school. For teens, it’s a different story. • A majority of their academic achievements tie directly to the personal experiences they have in life. If we were to lower the voting age to 16, we would begin the creation of a healthy habit of civic responsibility at a time in life when they are most influenced by what happens to them.
  68. 68. It develops healthy civic habits in teens.
  69. 69. It follows a pattern that the world has found to be successful already. • There are a cluster of suburbs around Washington, D.C. which have already lowered the voting age from 18 to 16, three of which are in Maryland: Greenbelt, Hyattsville, and Takoma Park. • Teens at the age of 16 can vote in the school board elections in Berkeley, CA. • Several states already allow 17-year-olds to vote in state and presidential primary elections if they will turn 18 before the general election.
  70. 70. It follows a pattern that the world has found to be successful already.
  71. 71. It follows a pattern that the world has found to be successful already • Several countries already allow voting at the age of 16 too. Austria, Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, Nicaragua, and three self-governing British Crown Dependencies all permit the lower voting age already. • Teens at the age of 16 can vote in Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro if they have a job.
  72. 72. It takes into account their contributions to society. • Teens can sometimes lack regulation of their emotional state as they continue developing. Impulse control is an issue for many youths. • The same could be said for many adults too. • There are plenty of 18-year-olds (and much older adults) who struggle with their decision-making skills also. That process doesn’t tend to regulate itself until around the age of 25 for many individuals. • If turning 18 creates a “magic number” where these issues are no longer an issue, society can declare that 16 becomes that number in the future.
  73. 73. It takes into account their contributions to society.
  74. 74. It allows teens to learn multiple layers of responsibility. • The standards for agricultural employment in the United States allow children under the age of 12 to work on farms outside of school hours with parental consent when the minimum wage requirements do not apply. • At the age of 16, teens may work in any farm job at any time. They can also work in most other employment venues outside of school hours (and sometimes even during school, depending on their situation). • If they can hold a job and manage other life responsibilities as an adult, it makes sense to give them additional rights as an adult too.
  75. 75. It allows teens to learn multiple layers of responsibility.
  76. 76. It would offer new voices to the political debate. • Teens at the age of 16 have a unique experience to share with the rest of the world. • Some hold jobs, most go to school full-time, and many have family responsibilities to share. • They play sports, volunteer in their community, and contribute in many other ways. • By adding their perspectives to the political debates, these young people could shift the structure of polarization that has crept into global politics. • When you have more voices and ideas available to you as a society, then you have more access to innovation.
  77. 77. It would offer new voices to the political debate.
  78. 78. Disadvantages of Reducing the Voter age • It might lower the voter turnout rates even further. The last presidential election in the United States offered a voting population of over 120 million people. • About 73 million votes were cast that year, creating a voter turnout rate of more than 60%. • When the 1972 election came along, which was the first election that 18-year-olds could legally vote in, the participation rate fell by 5.6%. Although 4.6 million more votes were cast in that election, there were 20 million additional voters in the population which didn’t cast a ballot. • The same pattern could occur if 16-year-olds were given the right to vote.
  79. 79. It might lower the voter turnout rates even further.
  80. 80. It could shift the patterns of voting in the country. • 10% of a teen’s decisions come from their home environment. • Children at the age of 16 are still influenced by their parent’s behaviors, standards, and perspectives. • Kids pattern their belief structures, from spirituality to politics, on the ideas they see and hear at home. That means the votes of these young teens would likely duplicate the ballots of their parents. • Although that would be their right, it does cause one to question whether that would be an authentic vote or one that is manipulated.
  81. 81. It could shift the patterns of voting in the country.
  82. 82. It would encourage risky behavior. • Teens already take more risks than adults. • They have higher smoking rates, higher texting while driving rates, and practice safe-sex less often. • Teens at the age of 16 are going through physical changes, including brain development, which creates emotional instabilities that lead to rebellion. • Giving them the right to vote in these circumstances could be helpful for some teens, but it may also be destructive for others.
  83. 83. Teens already take more risks than adults.
  84. 84. It may offer voting rights without a clear understanding. • Teens are more social today with online networks than ever before. They are exposed to more information with Internet access than any other generation before them. Having access to data is not the same as understanding it. • With all the time pressures present on the average 16- year-old, from school to work to athletics and everything in-between, they may not have enough time to thoroughly study the critical issues up for debate in an election. • Having them guess at who is a better candidate is not the same as understanding the issues through discussion.
  85. 85. It may offer voting rights without a clear understanding.
  86. 86. It follows the same precedence as other age- related restrictions. • We do not ask 16-year-olds to sit on a jury. • Some areas don’t permit kids below the age of 18 to drive. • There are hour restrictions in place for many teens during the school year. Most teens cannot enter into legal agreements without parental permission. • Most banks and lenders around the world do not issue financial products to teens until they reach 18 – and some wait until 21. • Voting restrictions on 16-year-olds follow these same standards. We don’t permit specific responsibilities because we recognize that as a whole, the youth demographic is not ready to handle them.
  87. 87. It follows the same precedence as other age- related restrictions.
  88. 88. It creates a logistics concern. • Giving teens the right to vote at 16 creates safety concerns for them and their parents. If it is their right to vote, then they must have access to a ballot box in some way. Rural families may not have a way to get their teen to their poll location. • Urban families may struggle with the idea of sending their child on public transportation without supervision. Just because you receive a mail-in ballot doesn’t mean that’s how you must vote. • The logistics of getting 16-year-olds to a voting station when their parents don’t have the means to make that happen creates a series of challenging questions which must be asked.
  89. 89. It creates a logistics concern
  90. 90. Conclusion • Finally, lowering the voting age gives young people a real stake in the process. • Cities have demonstrated that lowering the voting age to 16 can work.
  91. 91. Conclusion • Thus lowering the voting age to 16 advantages and disadvantages must balance the rights of the individual with the needs of each nation. • Those who have lowered the voting age have found much success with its results.
  92. 92. Case Study-India (2012) • Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • "The present day youth are well versed with technologies and comparatively better informed."
  93. 93. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • The Election Commission said it was examining a proposal to reduce the minimum age for voting right to 16 years from the existing 18. • “We may recommend to the government to reduce the minimum voting age to 16 years, if more youths, particularly new voters, participate in the electoral process,” Chief Election Commissioner Y S Quraishi told a meeting organized by Youth United for Voter Awareness (YUVA),an NGO. • Though above 35 per cent of voters were youths, their participation was the lowest, he said.
  94. 94. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16
  95. 95. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • Quraishi said though the minimum voting right age was reduced to 18 from 21 years, participation of new voters was not up to expectation. • As the present day youths were well versed with technologies and comparatively better informed, there was no harm in reducing the minimum voting right age to 16 years, he said. • The EC will launch an awareness drive among students to inform about the rights and significance of participation, he said.
  96. 96. We may recommend to the government to reduce the minimum voting age to 16 years, if more youths, particularly new voters, participate in the electoral process,” Chief Election Commissioner Y S Quraishi (2012)
  97. 97. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • The awareness campaign would include meetings, rallies, seminars and other activities to attract youths to the electoral process, the CEC said after releasing a document prepared by YUVA on youth participation in elections. • Quraishi also said the EC was working on establishing the Indian Institute of Democratic Studies on the lines of IIT and IIM to educate government officials, students and others from within the country and abroad about various aspects of the democratic processes.
  98. 98. Quraishi also said the EC was working on establishing the Indian Institute of Democratic Studies on the lines of IIT and IIM
  99. 99. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • The engagement of youngsters in political parties is quite visible during all the elections, rallies and protests. • But the most practical question for this relationship needs to be asked: Do political parties and leaders stand for the empowerment of youth? • Is it merely a ‘use and throw’ relationship or does it lead towards a ‘win-win’ situation for both?
  100. 100. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests
  101. 101. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Despite their huge presence in politics, youth do not get similar opportunities as older politicians. For many youth, active engagement with political parties does not translate into a regular source of income whether through an elected position or through the parties. • Secondly, politicians and elected representatives have the moral responsibility to fix the broken public education system and find ways to create employment opportunities for them, which they do not initiate at local level.
  102. 102. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests
  103. 103. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their • Thirdly, the most interesting and surprising part is that even the young political activists do not raise some of the core issues which primarily affect them and their generation, such as lack of high quality education in public-funded colleges and universities.
  104. 104. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Moreover, politicians are not invested in some of the core issues that affect the future of youth within or outside politics. • Political leaders and elected representatives are not seen doing enough to improve the quality of public educational institutions starting from the primary level to the tertiary level, which shape the future of youth. • As kids of most politicians today go to private schools and colleges, they have no skin in the game and hardly bother about the quality of education in public institutions.
  105. 105. As kids of most politicians today go to private schools and colleges, they have no skin in the game and hardly bother about the quality of education in public institutions.
  106. 106. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Even as heads of school or college committees, the elected representatives are unable to fix the problems of educational institutions locally. • Also, most politicians are not engaged in creating employment opportunities or enabling ecosystem at local level, which can propel either employment or entrepreneurship to engage youngsters productively.
  107. 107. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests
  108. 108. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Job creation remains merely a political issue and a matter of debate. • Due to lack of will and vision of the local elected representatives, many young political volunteers suffer in the long run despite being cadres and supporters.
  109. 109. Job creation remains merely a political issue and a matter of debate.
  110. 110. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Many youngsters also take part in university and college politics. • It is very surprising to see that student unions or youth leaders do not bring up some of the core issues affecting youth today.
  111. 111. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Youth should understand the dynamics, where they are being used by their political masters without concrete outcomes and a secure future. • Being their seniors and mentors, political leaders and parties should wisely utilize the time of youth and not engage them throughout the year at the cost of their education and career.
  112. 112. Youth should understand the dynamics, where they are being used by their political masters without concrete outcomes and a secure future
  113. 113. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Youth leaders also need to act responsibly. • If they are taking up leadership they should not compromise on the quality of education, a prime reason for young people to be in academic institutions. • It is high time that engagement of youth in politics be seen and treated as a means to serve the larger purpose of nation building utilizing the energy of young Indians. • Youth leaders should not remain just a conduit for serving the agenda of their political masters. • They must command their own voice, in the interest of the youth and the nation.
  114. 114. Youth leaders should not remain just a conduit for serving the agenda of their political masters.
  115. 115. Websites • Vote at 16 • CHANGE THE LAW SO THAT YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 16 AND 17 YEARS CAN VOTE! • https://www.youth.ie/get-involved/campaigns/vote-at-16/
  116. 116. Websites Votes at 16 • http://www.votesat16.org/
  117. 117. Websites Voting Age Around the World • https://blog.batchgeo.com/voting-age-around-the-world/
  118. 118. Books • Lowering the Voting Age to 16: Learning from Real Experiences Worldwide - by Jan Eichhorn
  119. 119. Books Votes at 16 • Youth Enfranchisement and the Renewal of American Democracy - by Niall Guy Michelsen
  120. 120. Documentaries • Should more 16 year olds get the vote? - BBC My World • https://youtu.be/88pWCDoTI0A
  121. 121. Documentaries “16-Too Young to Vote” - BBC visited Welbeck DSFC • https://youtu.be/2k7Q435IKAk
  122. 122. References A major American city may soon allow 16-year-olds to vote — and others could follow suit • https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/major-american-city-may-soon-allow-16-year-olds-vote- n1239955 India: Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • https://aceproject.org/regions-en/countries-and-territories/IN/news/india-election-commission-may- reduce-minimum Lowering the Voting Age to 16 in Practice: Processes and Outcomes Compared • https://academic.oup.com/pa/article/74/3/507/6321304 Should Teens Be Allowed to Vote? • https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/election/civics-in-action/voting--should-the-voting-age-be- lowered.html The case for allowing 16-year-olds to vote • https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/7/13347080/voting-age-election-16 Voting age • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_age Voting at 16: Turnout and the quality of vote choice • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4020373/
  123. 123. References Voting at 16: Exploring a City-led Movement to Lower the Voting Age • https://www.gmfus.org/news/voting-16-exploring-city-led-movement- lower-voting-age Votes at 16 • http://www.cje.org/descargas/cje4965.pdf Vote16USA • https://generationcitizen.org/policy-and-advocacy/vote16usa/ Voting Age Around the World • https://blog.batchgeo.com/voting-age-around-the-world/ Young Activist Pushes To Lower Voting Age To 16 As 'The Logical Next Step' For Gen Z • https://www.npr.org/2020/09/28/916078915/young-activist-pushes-to- lower-voting-age-to-16-as-the-next-logical-step-for-gen
  124. 124. Thanks…

Beschreibung

Voting Age: Should the voting age be lowered to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy?

Transkript

  1. 1. Voting Age Should the voting age be lowered to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy? Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests.
  2. 2. Voting Age Should the voting age be lowered to 16 to increase youth participation in democracy?
  3. 3. Introduction • Young people are turning away from institutional politics and traditional forms of democratic participation. • Across the world, youth (broadly defined as 18-34 year-olds), frustrated with prevailing and worsening economic inequality and inaction on pressing issues like climate change and racial justice, increasingly indicate that they do not believe that the current system of democracy can deliver real results to people.
  4. 4. Young people are turning away from institutional politics and traditional forms of democratic participation
  5. 5. Introduction • There are wide-ranging policy reforms and educational initiatives that can and should be pursued to repair democracy and young people’s faith in it. • One potential reform that can bring more young people into the political process is lowering the voting age to 16.
  6. 6. One potential reform that can bring more young people into the political process is lowering the voting age to 16
  7. 7. Introduction • A recent analysis of the long-term effects of lowering the voting age in five countries demonstrated an average 5 percent increase in overall turnout. • This expanded youth turnout can lead to long-term benefits for democratic participation. • Lowering the voting age can also strengthen the call for civic education.
  8. 8. A recent analysis of the long-term effects of lowering the voting age in five countries demonstrated an average 5 percent increase in overall turnout
  9. 9. Voting Age • A voting age is a minimum age established by law that a person must attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election. • As of the present day, the most common voting age is 18 years; however, voting ages as low as 16 and as high as 25 currently exist. • Most countries have set a minimum voting age, often set in their constitution. • In a number of countries voting is compulsory for those eligible to vote, while in most it is optional.
  10. 10. Voting Age • Most countries have a minimum voting age of 18 years; however, since the turn of this century, several countries have had ongoing debates about reducing the voting age to 17 or 16, and several jurisdictions have legislated to lower the voting age.
  11. 11. Voting Age The following countries have different minimum voting ages: 16 years: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany (only in some local elections), Malta, Nicaragua, Scotland 17 years: Indonesia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste 19 years: Republic of Korea 20 years: Bahrain, Cameroon, Nauru 21 years: Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tonga 25 years: United Arab Emirates
  12. 12. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • Around 2000, a number of countries began to consider whether the voting age ought to be reduced further, with arguments most often being made in favor of a reduction to 16.
  13. 13. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • In Brazil, the age was lowered to 16 in the 1988 Constitution, while the lower voting age took effect for the first time in the 1989 Presidential Election. • The earliest moves in Europe came during the 1990s, when the voting age for municipal elections in some States of Germany was lowered to 16.
  14. 14. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • In 2007, Austria became the first country to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in national elections, with the expanded franchise first being consummated in the 2009 European Parliament election.
  15. 15. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16 • During the 2000s several proposals for a reduced voting age were put forward in U.S. states, including California, Florida and Alaska, but none were successful. • In Oregon, Senate Joint Resolution 22 has been introduced to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16.
  16. 16. Debate on lowering the voting age to 16
  17. 17. Voting ages around the world • Eighteen is the most common voting age, with a small minority of countries differing from this rule. • Those with a national minimum age of 17 include East Timor, Greece, Indonesia, North Korea, South Sudan and Sudan. • The minimum age is 16 in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Malta, Nicaragua, Scotland and Wales, and the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. • The highest minimum voting age is 21 in several nations. Some countries have variable provision for the minimum voting age, whereby a lower age is set for eligibility to vote in state, regional or municipal elections.
  18. 18. Voting ages around the world • The arguments for lowering the voting generally revolve around comparisons with non-electoral rights and responsibilities, international comparisons, level of political awareness and interest among the young, and the issue of maturity.
  19. 19. Voting ages around the world
  20. 20. Voting ages around the world • In general, those in favor are convinced that lowering the voting age to 16 – in combination with stronger civic and voter education programs in schools – could increase the political participation of youth.
  21. 21. Voting ages around the world • The advocates for a lower voting age seek to strengthen their case by noting that 16-year-olds participate in political debates on social media and events, work, pay taxes, rent houses, and join the armed forces in some countries. • Consequently, given their contributions to society, they should have the right to vote and hold representatives accountable for decisions that are affecting their daily lives.
  22. 22. The advocates for a lower voting age seek to strengthen their case by noting that 16-year-olds participate in political debates
  23. 23. Voting ages around the world • Research shows that 16-17-year-olds are more likely to vote than 18-20-year-olds, so giving them the vote when slightly younger enables them to vote when it is most convenient for them.
  24. 24. Voting ages around the world • The main arguments raised by opponents of lowering voting ages to 16 or another age younger than 18 are that younger people lack the maturity to grapple with complex political processes and that they would most likely be influenced by the positions of their parents or other adults. • The relationship between age, maturity, and intelligence is complex and contentious.
  25. 25. The main arguments raised by opponents of lowering voting ages to 16
  26. 26. Voting ages around the world • Developmental assumptions about what young people are capable of understanding and what motivates their behavior can influence public debate. • The assumption that young people do not have enough life experience or maturity on which to base important decisions (such as voting), and also that they are easily manipulated, is hotly debated.
  27. 27. The assumption that young people do not have enough life experience or, is hotly debated.
  28. 28. Voting ages around the world • There is a school of thought that believes there should be no fixed minimum age; that it should instead be for the individual to decide the age at which he or she is ready to vote; the suggestion being that if you are interested enough, you are mature enough. • But most supporters of change accept that there should be some fixed age at which voting is permitted, usually 16 or 17.
  29. 29. There is a school of thought that believes there should be no fixed minimum age; that it should instead be for the individual to decide the age at which he or she is ready to vote
  30. 30. Voting ages around the world • This debate intersects with the discourse on the rights of children and adolescents and specifically on the issue of legal minimum age legislation, which can be contentious, contextual, and contradictory. • In setting age limits, states have to balance protection with empowerment and rights. • Human rights law says that there can be restrictions on who can vote in an election, as long as those restrictions are based on objective and reasonable criteria.
  31. 31. This debate intersects with the discourse on the rights of children and adolescents and specifically on the issue of legal minimum age legislation
  32. 32. Voting ages around the world • All states have limited eligibility to vote based on age, no country allows people under 16 to vote in national elections, and only a minority allow young people aged between 16 and 18 the right to vote in national or municipal elections, some with conditions such as being employed or married.
  33. 33. Countries that have lowered the voting age • Several of the countries that have lowered the voting age have opted for an incremental approach, introducing the new legislation in one local district, for example, as a test-case before expanding to other districts. • This approach was adopted in various jurisdictions in Austria, Germany, Norway, and the United States, but only Austria has expanded the legislation to all elections.
  34. 34. Countries that have lowered the voting age
  35. 35. Countries that have lowered the voting age • Since the 2010s, several jurisdictions have attempted to lower the voting age to 16 or 17 years of age – some have been successful while other attempts have been short-lived. • Norway experimented with a lowered voting age in 2011 in selected municipalities as a pilot.
  36. 36. Countries that have lowered the voting age • Despite the growing momentum in many of these countries, there is also considerable resistance to lowering the voting age among the public and politicians.
  37. 37. Countries that have lowered the voting age • There has been limited data in relation to the experience of those jurisdictions that have lowered the voting age. • And even with the more recent experiences, there have only been one or two election cycles in which to assess the impact of the legislation on patterns relating to voter turnout, voting behavior, and other potential consequences of the legislation. • Future research is needed to examine the short-term and long-term impacts of such electoral reform.
  38. 38. Countries that have lowered the voting age • The early data is, however, fairly consistent: “Studies from a municipal election in the United States, as well as national elections in Denmark and Austria, have shown that 16- and 17-year-olds are avid political participants and that voting at 16 and 17 is habit-forming. • Socialized into a culture of participation early on, 16- and 17-year-old voters may age into more politically active older people than those who do not vote for the first time until they are 18 or 19.”
  39. 39. Strong Reasons for Reducing the voting Age • Lowering the voting age is a new concept for many people, but there are many good reasons that show doing so is a sound and ethical choice.
  40. 40. Young people have adult responsibilities, but are denied the same rights. • People under 18 are contributing and active members of society. • Many people under 18 also have “adult” responsibilities – such as being the primary caregiver for an ailing family member, running a business, and making substantial financial contributions to our households. • People under age 18 have the ability to win a Nobel Prize, reach the summit of Mount Everest, conduct cancer research, become published authors, teach a graduate- level course in nuclear physics, run their own schools, work for NASA, and risk their lives to save others. • If young people are capable of such a variety of amazing feats, certainly they have the capacity to vote for the candidate that best represents their interests.
  41. 41. Young people have adult responsibilities, but are denied the same rights.
  42. 42. Young people are expected to follow the law, but have no say in making it. • People under 18 are expected to follow adult laws and experience adult consequences if we don’t do so. • In every state, it is possible for a case to be transferred out of juvenile court into adult criminal court, and in certain states all crimes committed by 16- and 17-year-olds are automatically transferred. • Approximately 250,000 people under age 18 are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States. • This means that not only does our society expect young people to know “right from wrong” and the consequences for breaking certain laws, but our society also expects that they are able to navigate the adult legal system and are mature enough to be placed in adult prisons. • It is hypocritical to tell us that they are mature, responsible adults when they commit a crime, but ignorant and naive when they want to vote.
  43. 43. Young people are expected to follow the law, but have no say in making it.
  44. 44. Young people are already participating in politics. • Despite attempts to exclude young people from the political process, they are still making their voices heard. • Young people have started ultimately successful campaigns for mayor and state legislature before they were even old enough to vote.
  45. 45. Young people make good voters. • When the voting age has been lowered to 16, young people have shown their interest in voting. • In 2013, when Takoma Park, Maryland, lowered its voting age to 16, registered voters under 18 had a turnout rate four times higher than voters over 18. And again in Hyattsville, Maryland (the second place in the U.S. to lower the voting age to 16), registered 16- and 17-year-old voters had a higher turnout out rate than older voters. • Seventeen-year-olds also had a higher turnout rate than people aged 20-50 in the Chicago Primary in 2014.
  46. 46. Takoma Park, Maryland, lowered its voting age to 16, registered voters under 18 had a turnout rate four times higher than voters over 18.
  47. 47. Young people make good voters. • Similar trends have occurred outside the United States. • Voters aged 16 to 17 had a higher turnout rate than older voters under age 30 in Norway’s 2011 elections, voters under 35 in Scotland’s 2014 referendum election, and voters aged 18-20 in Austria’s elections in 2011 and 2014.
  48. 48. Young people make good voters.
  49. 49. Young people make good voters. • People under 18 have also participated in politics by forming Political Action Committees, managing campaigns, advocating for our rights in front of legislative bodies, and becoming grassroots activists. And even though we are not allowed to vote, young people are able to contribute just as much money to a political campaign as adults are. • In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that banning people under 18 from this part of the political process actually violates our First Amendment rights.
  50. 50. Young people make good voters. • Although it can be difficult to determine what constitutes a “good vote” , a group of researchers tried to determine the quality of votes cast by people under 18 by comparing how well their votes aligned with their stated values. • Voters aged 16-17 were found to have made choices that were “more congruent with party positions” leaving the researchers to conclude that “lowering the voting age does not appear to have a negative impact on input legitimacy and the quality of democratic decisions.”
  51. 51. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • Young people have a right to be heard and to have their interests taken seriously. • However, by disenfranchising young people society they do not have anything of value to add to the political conversations in our society. • It also gives politicians permission to ignore interests as people under 18 have no way to hold their representatives accountable.
  52. 52. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth.
  53. 53. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • This is especially concerning since there are certain issues, such as environmental degradation, public education policy, long-term government debt, corporal punishment laws, and poverty that impact young people more than anyone else. • Younger people may also be better in tune with modern issues around internet privacy and social media use.
  54. 54. Younger people may also be better in tune with modern issues around internet privacy and social media use.
  55. 55. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • But since young people are underrepresented in politics, the issues affecting us are underrepresented as well. • Lowering the voting age will also help to increase the civic engagement of young people.
  56. 56. Lowering the voting age will improve the lives of youth. • The words spoken before the Senate Judiciary Committee supporting lowering the voting age in 1971 are as true then as they are now: • “The anachronistic voting-age limitation tends to alienate them from systematic political processes and to drive them to a search for an alternative, sometimes violent, means to express their frustrations over the gap between the nation’s deals and actions. • Lowering the voting age will provide them with a direct, constructive and democratic channel for making their views felt and for giving them a responsible stake in the future of the nation.” (1971 U.S. Code Cong. Admin. News at pp. 365-367)
  57. 57. There are no wrong votes. • In a democracy, we don’t deny people the vote because we think they might vote badly. • It can be easy to feel baffled by the way other people vote, even if we know them very well. • Many people believe that there are voters who are completely ignorant of the issues, woefully misguided about the economy, who get their political ideas from biased media, vote for candidates based on their personality, and are completely naive about the world. • And yet, disenfranchising people simply because we disagree with them is not considered a serious position, unless that group happens to be disenfranchised already. • No advocate for lowering the voting age believes that young people will always vote intelligently, especially since not everyone can agree on what that means.
  58. 58. In a democracy, we don’t deny people the vote because we think they might vote badly.
  59. 59. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think • When the United States decided to end age discrimination in voting for everyone 18 and over in all elections, it adopted the 26th Constitutional Amendment. • The Amendment’s overwhelming and bipartisan support allowed it to make history as the quickest Constitutional Amendment ever to be ratified. • Today, lowering the voting age continues to have wide support. Nearly half of US states have seen legislative attempts to lower the voting age in the last two decades, including four towns in Maryland that have successfully lowered their voting age to 16. Internationally, more than 25 countries have a voting age lower than 18 and many more are looking at following their lead.
  60. 60. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think
  61. 61. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think • In most nations, the minimum voting age is set at eighteen years In the past, the minimum age to vote was twenty one years, but after several debates, this was lowered to eighteen years. • When individuals reach this age, they are considered to be adults. As an adult, one should be able to analyze different situations, think critically, and thus make wise decisions. • Every decision leads to some consequences. Regardless of the consequences, whether negative or positive, the responsible adult can be held accountable for them. • This is the reason that the minimum voting age limit has been set at eighteen years in many states
  62. 62. Legislation to lower the voting age has more support than you think
  63. 63. Advantages of lowering the Voting Age • Young people have a unique way of looking at things. This special quality is lost as the child gets older. • The uniqueness may compel them to vote for certain people who they feel will be able to address their issues better, something that older adults may not do because they are unduly influenced by other factors. • It is also argued that generally youths can vote wisely, since they too are able to make good decisions on their own.
  64. 64. It is also argued that generally youths can vote wisely, since they too are able to make good decisions on their own
  65. 65. Advantages of lowering the Voting Age • Youths of today mature faster than they did in the past Their quick growth and maturity can be attributed to a number of factors, such as exposure to platforms from where they learn the realities of life with great speed. • The media is one such platform. • Further, the more people vote, the more votes a candidate or political party will receive. • This places a particular party or candidate, who has the interests of youths at heart, at an advantage over others.
  66. 66. Youths of today mature faster than they did in the past
  67. 67. It develops healthy civic habits in teens. • Younger children are influenced by their home environment when learning at school. For teens, it’s a different story. • A majority of their academic achievements tie directly to the personal experiences they have in life. If we were to lower the voting age to 16, we would begin the creation of a healthy habit of civic responsibility at a time in life when they are most influenced by what happens to them.
  68. 68. It develops healthy civic habits in teens.
  69. 69. It follows a pattern that the world has found to be successful already. • There are a cluster of suburbs around Washington, D.C. which have already lowered the voting age from 18 to 16, three of which are in Maryland: Greenbelt, Hyattsville, and Takoma Park. • Teens at the age of 16 can vote in the school board elections in Berkeley, CA. • Several states already allow 17-year-olds to vote in state and presidential primary elections if they will turn 18 before the general election.
  70. 70. It follows a pattern that the world has found to be successful already.
  71. 71. It follows a pattern that the world has found to be successful already • Several countries already allow voting at the age of 16 too. Austria, Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, Nicaragua, and three self-governing British Crown Dependencies all permit the lower voting age already. • Teens at the age of 16 can vote in Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro if they have a job.
  72. 72. It takes into account their contributions to society. • Teens can sometimes lack regulation of their emotional state as they continue developing. Impulse control is an issue for many youths. • The same could be said for many adults too. • There are plenty of 18-year-olds (and much older adults) who struggle with their decision-making skills also. That process doesn’t tend to regulate itself until around the age of 25 for many individuals. • If turning 18 creates a “magic number” where these issues are no longer an issue, society can declare that 16 becomes that number in the future.
  73. 73. It takes into account their contributions to society.
  74. 74. It allows teens to learn multiple layers of responsibility. • The standards for agricultural employment in the United States allow children under the age of 12 to work on farms outside of school hours with parental consent when the minimum wage requirements do not apply. • At the age of 16, teens may work in any farm job at any time. They can also work in most other employment venues outside of school hours (and sometimes even during school, depending on their situation). • If they can hold a job and manage other life responsibilities as an adult, it makes sense to give them additional rights as an adult too.
  75. 75. It allows teens to learn multiple layers of responsibility.
  76. 76. It would offer new voices to the political debate. • Teens at the age of 16 have a unique experience to share with the rest of the world. • Some hold jobs, most go to school full-time, and many have family responsibilities to share. • They play sports, volunteer in their community, and contribute in many other ways. • By adding their perspectives to the political debates, these young people could shift the structure of polarization that has crept into global politics. • When you have more voices and ideas available to you as a society, then you have more access to innovation.
  77. 77. It would offer new voices to the political debate.
  78. 78. Disadvantages of Reducing the Voter age • It might lower the voter turnout rates even further. The last presidential election in the United States offered a voting population of over 120 million people. • About 73 million votes were cast that year, creating a voter turnout rate of more than 60%. • When the 1972 election came along, which was the first election that 18-year-olds could legally vote in, the participation rate fell by 5.6%. Although 4.6 million more votes were cast in that election, there were 20 million additional voters in the population which didn’t cast a ballot. • The same pattern could occur if 16-year-olds were given the right to vote.
  79. 79. It might lower the voter turnout rates even further.
  80. 80. It could shift the patterns of voting in the country. • 10% of a teen’s decisions come from their home environment. • Children at the age of 16 are still influenced by their parent’s behaviors, standards, and perspectives. • Kids pattern their belief structures, from spirituality to politics, on the ideas they see and hear at home. That means the votes of these young teens would likely duplicate the ballots of their parents. • Although that would be their right, it does cause one to question whether that would be an authentic vote or one that is manipulated.
  81. 81. It could shift the patterns of voting in the country.
  82. 82. It would encourage risky behavior. • Teens already take more risks than adults. • They have higher smoking rates, higher texting while driving rates, and practice safe-sex less often. • Teens at the age of 16 are going through physical changes, including brain development, which creates emotional instabilities that lead to rebellion. • Giving them the right to vote in these circumstances could be helpful for some teens, but it may also be destructive for others.
  83. 83. Teens already take more risks than adults.
  84. 84. It may offer voting rights without a clear understanding. • Teens are more social today with online networks than ever before. They are exposed to more information with Internet access than any other generation before them. Having access to data is not the same as understanding it. • With all the time pressures present on the average 16- year-old, from school to work to athletics and everything in-between, they may not have enough time to thoroughly study the critical issues up for debate in an election. • Having them guess at who is a better candidate is not the same as understanding the issues through discussion.
  85. 85. It may offer voting rights without a clear understanding.
  86. 86. It follows the same precedence as other age- related restrictions. • We do not ask 16-year-olds to sit on a jury. • Some areas don’t permit kids below the age of 18 to drive. • There are hour restrictions in place for many teens during the school year. Most teens cannot enter into legal agreements without parental permission. • Most banks and lenders around the world do not issue financial products to teens until they reach 18 – and some wait until 21. • Voting restrictions on 16-year-olds follow these same standards. We don’t permit specific responsibilities because we recognize that as a whole, the youth demographic is not ready to handle them.
  87. 87. It follows the same precedence as other age- related restrictions.
  88. 88. It creates a logistics concern. • Giving teens the right to vote at 16 creates safety concerns for them and their parents. If it is their right to vote, then they must have access to a ballot box in some way. Rural families may not have a way to get their teen to their poll location. • Urban families may struggle with the idea of sending their child on public transportation without supervision. Just because you receive a mail-in ballot doesn’t mean that’s how you must vote. • The logistics of getting 16-year-olds to a voting station when their parents don’t have the means to make that happen creates a series of challenging questions which must be asked.
  89. 89. It creates a logistics concern
  90. 90. Conclusion • Finally, lowering the voting age gives young people a real stake in the process. • Cities have demonstrated that lowering the voting age to 16 can work.
  91. 91. Conclusion • Thus lowering the voting age to 16 advantages and disadvantages must balance the rights of the individual with the needs of each nation. • Those who have lowered the voting age have found much success with its results.
  92. 92. Case Study-India (2012) • Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • "The present day youth are well versed with technologies and comparatively better informed."
  93. 93. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • The Election Commission said it was examining a proposal to reduce the minimum age for voting right to 16 years from the existing 18. • “We may recommend to the government to reduce the minimum voting age to 16 years, if more youths, particularly new voters, participate in the electoral process,” Chief Election Commissioner Y S Quraishi told a meeting organized by Youth United for Voter Awareness (YUVA),an NGO. • Though above 35 per cent of voters were youths, their participation was the lowest, he said.
  94. 94. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16
  95. 95. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • Quraishi said though the minimum voting right age was reduced to 18 from 21 years, participation of new voters was not up to expectation. • As the present day youths were well versed with technologies and comparatively better informed, there was no harm in reducing the minimum voting right age to 16 years, he said. • The EC will launch an awareness drive among students to inform about the rights and significance of participation, he said.
  96. 96. We may recommend to the government to reduce the minimum voting age to 16 years, if more youths, particularly new voters, participate in the electoral process,” Chief Election Commissioner Y S Quraishi (2012)
  97. 97. Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • The awareness campaign would include meetings, rallies, seminars and other activities to attract youths to the electoral process, the CEC said after releasing a document prepared by YUVA on youth participation in elections. • Quraishi also said the EC was working on establishing the Indian Institute of Democratic Studies on the lines of IIT and IIM to educate government officials, students and others from within the country and abroad about various aspects of the democratic processes.
  98. 98. Quraishi also said the EC was working on establishing the Indian Institute of Democratic Studies on the lines of IIT and IIM
  99. 99. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • The engagement of youngsters in political parties is quite visible during all the elections, rallies and protests. • But the most practical question for this relationship needs to be asked: Do political parties and leaders stand for the empowerment of youth? • Is it merely a ‘use and throw’ relationship or does it lead towards a ‘win-win’ situation for both?
  100. 100. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests
  101. 101. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Despite their huge presence in politics, youth do not get similar opportunities as older politicians. For many youth, active engagement with political parties does not translate into a regular source of income whether through an elected position or through the parties. • Secondly, politicians and elected representatives have the moral responsibility to fix the broken public education system and find ways to create employment opportunities for them, which they do not initiate at local level.
  102. 102. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests
  103. 103. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their • Thirdly, the most interesting and surprising part is that even the young political activists do not raise some of the core issues which primarily affect them and their generation, such as lack of high quality education in public-funded colleges and universities.
  104. 104. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Moreover, politicians are not invested in some of the core issues that affect the future of youth within or outside politics. • Political leaders and elected representatives are not seen doing enough to improve the quality of public educational institutions starting from the primary level to the tertiary level, which shape the future of youth. • As kids of most politicians today go to private schools and colleges, they have no skin in the game and hardly bother about the quality of education in public institutions.
  105. 105. As kids of most politicians today go to private schools and colleges, they have no skin in the game and hardly bother about the quality of education in public institutions.
  106. 106. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Even as heads of school or college committees, the elected representatives are unable to fix the problems of educational institutions locally. • Also, most politicians are not engaged in creating employment opportunities or enabling ecosystem at local level, which can propel either employment or entrepreneurship to engage youngsters productively.
  107. 107. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests
  108. 108. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Job creation remains merely a political issue and a matter of debate. • Due to lack of will and vision of the local elected representatives, many young political volunteers suffer in the long run despite being cadres and supporters.
  109. 109. Job creation remains merely a political issue and a matter of debate.
  110. 110. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Many youngsters also take part in university and college politics. • It is very surprising to see that student unions or youth leaders do not bring up some of the core issues affecting youth today.
  111. 111. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Youth should understand the dynamics, where they are being used by their political masters without concrete outcomes and a secure future. • Being their seniors and mentors, political leaders and parties should wisely utilize the time of youth and not engage them throughout the year at the cost of their education and career.
  112. 112. Youth should understand the dynamics, where they are being used by their political masters without concrete outcomes and a secure future
  113. 113. Young country, old leaders: While politics engages large numbers of youth, it does not serve their interests • Youth leaders also need to act responsibly. • If they are taking up leadership they should not compromise on the quality of education, a prime reason for young people to be in academic institutions. • It is high time that engagement of youth in politics be seen and treated as a means to serve the larger purpose of nation building utilizing the energy of young Indians. • Youth leaders should not remain just a conduit for serving the agenda of their political masters. • They must command their own voice, in the interest of the youth and the nation.
  114. 114. Youth leaders should not remain just a conduit for serving the agenda of their political masters.
  115. 115. Websites • Vote at 16 • CHANGE THE LAW SO THAT YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 16 AND 17 YEARS CAN VOTE! • https://www.youth.ie/get-involved/campaigns/vote-at-16/
  116. 116. Websites Votes at 16 • http://www.votesat16.org/
  117. 117. Websites Voting Age Around the World • https://blog.batchgeo.com/voting-age-around-the-world/
  118. 118. Books • Lowering the Voting Age to 16: Learning from Real Experiences Worldwide - by Jan Eichhorn
  119. 119. Books Votes at 16 • Youth Enfranchisement and the Renewal of American Democracy - by Niall Guy Michelsen
  120. 120. Documentaries • Should more 16 year olds get the vote? - BBC My World • https://youtu.be/88pWCDoTI0A
  121. 121. Documentaries “16-Too Young to Vote” - BBC visited Welbeck DSFC • https://youtu.be/2k7Q435IKAk
  122. 122. References A major American city may soon allow 16-year-olds to vote — and others could follow suit • https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/major-american-city-may-soon-allow-16-year-olds-vote- n1239955 India: Election Commission may reduce minimum voting age to 16 • https://aceproject.org/regions-en/countries-and-territories/IN/news/india-election-commission-may- reduce-minimum Lowering the Voting Age to 16 in Practice: Processes and Outcomes Compared • https://academic.oup.com/pa/article/74/3/507/6321304 Should Teens Be Allowed to Vote? • https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/election/civics-in-action/voting--should-the-voting-age-be- lowered.html The case for allowing 16-year-olds to vote • https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/7/13347080/voting-age-election-16 Voting age • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_age Voting at 16: Turnout and the quality of vote choice • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4020373/
  123. 123. References Voting at 16: Exploring a City-led Movement to Lower the Voting Age • https://www.gmfus.org/news/voting-16-exploring-city-led-movement- lower-voting-age Votes at 16 • http://www.cje.org/descargas/cje4965.pdf Vote16USA • https://generationcitizen.org/policy-and-advocacy/vote16usa/ Voting Age Around the World • https://blog.batchgeo.com/voting-age-around-the-world/ Young Activist Pushes To Lower Voting Age To 16 As 'The Logical Next Step' For Gen Z • https://www.npr.org/2020/09/28/916078915/young-activist-pushes-to- lower-voting-age-to-16-as-the-next-logical-step-for-gen
  124. 124. Thanks…

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