Opinion:Voting age must not be lowered

Sam Stroud

Staff Writer

There is a growing number of Democratic politicians who have begun to publicly support the idea that the younger de- mographics of children at the age of 16 should have the rightto influence national politics.Needless to say, this is a badidea.

The most obvious reasonthat 16-year-old kids are unfitfor voting is that they don’t have the same rights as legaladults.Theydon’thaveexpe- rience in areas that politicians control, this can make themmuch easier to mislead. Evenif they do know what they are voting for or on, they still shouldn’t be allowed to have a say on policies that don’taffect them.

For example, they shouldnot be allowed to have a say on matters related to foreign policy when they cannot be drafted; in this manner, their constitutional duty cannot befully exercised.

When you have no skin in the game like this, you can propose and vote for whatever you want with essentially norepercussions. If you have theright to vote, you should also have the responsibilities alegal adult has.

It is a well-known fact thatadolescents’ brains are not fully developed until theirmid-20s.

Scientists from McLeanImaging Center have observedthat fully matured adults usethe prefrontal cortex, therational part of the brain tomake decisions.

The 16-year-old brain does not use that section of the brain for decision makingat their age. Their brainsrather use the amygdala,

the emotional side of thebrain, for decision making.Not to say that emotions are not important when making decisions, but that avenue of decision making can lead tohighly illogical conclusions.This can make create a voter that is more easily manipulat- ed and coerced by fake news or emotional arguments notrooted in facts.

The last time the voting age was lowered was in 1971 when it was lowered to age18.Thatway,themenfightingin Vietnam could have a say whether or not they wanted to get killed in the middle of a random jungle during amassively unpopular war. Inour time, there is no urgentcause that exists that requiresthe decision making of a16-year-old.

If a teenager below the ageof 18 wants to get civically engaged, nobody should stopthem. Nevertheless, theyshould be allowed to mature a little bit before they can govote.

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