How To Reduce The Voting Age to 16 – Next City

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How To Reduce The Voting Age to 16

August 4, 2020

Watch Brandon Klugman, Vote16USA Campaign Manager at Generation Citizen discuss their national campaign to reduce the voting age to 16. During this webinar, Klugman will discuss the campaign's successes and setbacks.

By the age of 16, many teens have begun to drive, started paying taxes on earnings from part-time jobs, and in some cases can be tried as adults in a court of law. But when it comes to voting, young people ages 16 – 17 are left out of the conversation, and that’s part of the reason why Vote16USA is advocating to reduce the voter age. 

Vote16USA supports high-school aged students and municipal leaders in advocating for 16- and 17-year-olds voting on a municipal level. The organization streamlines information by compiling and sharing policy data and research to help young would-be voters and civic leaders advocate for the reduction of municipal voting ages. 

Vote16USA has active campaigns in Culver City and Berkley, California, Brattleboro, VT, and Washington, D.C. In two campaign cities in Maryland, Takoma Park and Hyattsville, youth and leaders have been successful in lowering the voting age, and 16-year-olds have been able to vote in municipal elections since 2013 and 2015, respectively.

“Our democracy works best when more people participate in it,” says Klugman. “Now more than ever we need bold ideas to make sure young people participate in their local democracy today and for the rest of their lives.”

Klugman is the Vote16USA Campaign Manager at Generation Citizen. In this role, he leads the initiative to lower the voting age, including supporting youth-led campaigns, publishing resources for advocates, and leading a Youth Advisory Board made up of activists from around the country. 

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