Kids Should Vote | Teen Ink

Kids Should Vote MAG

By Amanda M., Franklin, MA

     Global warming, stock market plunges, housing market at an all-time low, bird flu, and Americans dying in Iraq! When you’re a kid it feels like you’re letting adults plan your future. Adults are voting, but their votes affect the next generation. We are the ones who have to live with their decisions.

In our multimedia-based society kids are exposed to more information than ever. Television, Internet, and satellite news are available 24/7. Polar ice caps are melting, our troops are dying, and people are starving as we watch live. My generation is more aware of what is going on in the world than previous ones. My generation is more likely to be offspring of single-parent families, multi-racial families, and openly gay parents. The world has changed, society is different from when our parents grew up.

Kids are more socially and politically aware; so why can’t we take part in the political process? What would the political environment be like if kids could vote? Perhaps SUVs would be illegal - if you don’t get 35 miles per gallon, you’re off the road. Why are our troops dying in Iraq if no weapons of mass destruction were found? Perhaps we would bring the troops home now, if kids had a say. How come Katrina victims still need help, while we turn away economic aid from other countries? I would vote to accept help from foreign countries. Why does it matter if we agree with their government or leaders if they want to help? Also, my generation doesn’t care who makes up a family. I would vote that families are people who love and care for their children.

My hope is that because children of my generation have more knowledge, they will make the right decisions. My fear is that kids are so busy memorizing Red Sox stats, so concerned with Britney at the VMA Awards or with beating the newest video game, that they may not pay attention to what will affect their lives. On the other hand, don’t some adults focus on these less important things too?

Perhaps only the politically aware should vote, whether they are 14 or 104. If you don’t know how your vote will affect everyone, or how a candidate will govern, then don’t cast a vote. I guess kids couldn’t do any worse.

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This article has 61 comments.

cloudykid said...
on Jun. 9 2019 at 4:22 pm
cloudykid, -, Oregon
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I agree. Age is just a number. What magically happens at 18 that makes a switch go off in our brain, somehow making us mature enough to vote.

on Apr. 3 2018 at 10:03 am
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
You have a good should be able to vote. we should take control of our lives. However, we would have to set boundaries, because after all, kids will be kids, and kids can be clueless and make mistakes. we wouldn't want to put our government on the line here. This would take LOTS of consideration. keep up the good work. we can make a difference. :)

Igor bob said...
on Oct. 11 2016 at 6:39 pm
very cry much sadness

Edubs SILVER said...
on May. 19 2016 at 10:32 am
Edubs SILVER, West Jordan, Utah
8 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"But there's a hope waiting for you in the dark, you should know you're beautiful just the way you are. And you don't have to change a thing the world could change its heart. No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful." - Alessia

I You make a good point. It's very eye opening. But fear that many immature kids would do stupid things while voting. Also I have learned that when a bill is being presented to voters or lawmakers, the people barely skim through the papers of what the bill is about and the "terms & conditions". So, these adults just pass bills and laws without even knowing what they are voting for. The point is, if adults are making dumb decisions while voting, how could kids who pay attention even less be able to make wise decisions when it comes to voting. However, it does make sense that we the younger generation should be able to make our own decisions. Because basically the older generation is make these decisions for us, then they will pass on and we are stuck with the mess they created. These older generations are making decisions and we don't have a single say whether we like it or not. But then again, say we vote and then the even younger generation dislikes the decisions we make. So basically it doesn't matter what happens someone will complain about it, so changing laws and letting us vote might be nice, but other people will disagree and not like it.

LChorses said...
on Aug. 18 2015 at 3:23 pm
I would like to point out that you say the frontal lobe is not developed until early to mid twenties. However people can vote starting at 18. I would also like to point out that children know the difference between right and wrong from very early on. Why do you think teenagers are sometimes put in prison for life or even executed if the crimes are bad enough. Because they were very much aware that what they did was wrong.

LChorses said...
on Aug. 18 2015 at 3:19 pm
I would like to point out that many kids know more history than their parents because of the fact that they are still in school. The information is still fresh in their heads however the adults seem to have forgotten. I think modern may actually be more informed due to the news, internet, and what they hear from others. I also think that kids have their own opinions and will not just believe whatever they here. Anyway it seems like most adults just go along with the majority. Also, I think I learned the laws of supply and demand in fourth grade. As for your first reason, I feel you are implying kids are stupid. I don't even feel I have to make an argument against that one anyone who has ever met a kid knows they are not stupid.

LChorses said...
on Aug. 18 2015 at 3:10 pm
I do agree with you to an extent and respect the fact that at 12, you agree the many kids probably shouldn't vote. I would like to point out that if they don't bother listening to the candidates speeches they probably won't bother voting at all. I also agree that many children are highly suggestible. However I think adult's beliefs are also based on their parents, friends, or just the majority's opinions.

LChorses said...
on Aug. 18 2015 at 3:05 pm
Some children may not be mature enough to make sophisticated decision. I find it interesting what people consider the proper age to do things at. The youngest person executed in the United States was 14. He was not old enough to vote, drive, or do much of anything without a parent's permission yet could be executed for his crime?! That does not make too much sense. You're not considered intelligent enough to do much of anything, yet you are mentally competent enough to be executed.

Lhorses said...
on Aug. 18 2015 at 2:58 pm
I would think that kids who are politically aware are probably responsible enough to drive, just as they are responsible enough to vote. They main point is that though they are capable they are denied that privilege simply because of their age. As far as the their still in school argument goes, considering how much time kids have for extracurricular activities if they really wanted to they could take the time. Plus they already know most of it just from watching the news, talking to other kids and their parents, and the internet.

George said...
on May. 28 2015 at 3:10 am
If you make a point on intelligence, saying children are not smart enough to vote, I wonder, how can you say that voting is only for the smart and not so smart should have no say? No true democracy disenfranchises anyone for their IQ.

KChan BRONZE said...
on Apr. 20 2015 at 12:16 am
KChan BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
1 article 2 photos 2 comments
I feel like the aptitude test can be taken in many ways. First, it could decrease voter turnout, which is already sadly low. Second, you would have to be super careful in crafting that test so that there is no bias whatsoever and include a lot of history behind each. To what threshold would you define someone as politically aware? If this awareness is too high, we could REALLY impair voter turnout. If it is too low, then what is the point? Much safer, I think, it is to just integrate political awareness in the classroom by encouraging teachers to relate subjects to currently debated legislation, candidates or topics—exposing students to at least this part of the real world.

KChan BRONZE said...
on Apr. 19 2015 at 11:07 pm
KChan BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
1 article 2 photos 2 comments
It certainly makes sense that people whose lives are going to be shaped by legislation, should have a say in that legislation. Especially with decreasing voter turnout, it is important to encourage political activity in the generation to train them to become active participants in the nations laws as adults. Perhaps the concern now isn't what we can do to avoid people who are politically aware, but to reform the education system slightly so that kids are trained to become more politically aware before they even become of voting age. Although you bring up that multimedia exposes us to more of the worlds issues, how they can contribute through voting to American politics and government is still an unfamiliar practice. If we practice school elections as if they were no merely popularity contests, we would get a rudimentary feel of the real world in our already sheltered school environment.

jezrar said...
on Feb. 12 2015 at 9:53 pm
jezrar, Miramar, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"

I agree with you in that only the socially and politically aware should vote. However, that doesn't necessarily apply to a large percentage of people under the age of 18 (or people over 18, for that matter). Additionally, while some kids may have good ideas, they may not always be feasible due to their limited understanding on how our country functions. I think maybe instead of just saying "Hey, anyone can vote!" there could potentially be an 'exam' or some kind of test on current governmental issues and/or social tensions that will be 'graded' and if one receives a certain score, they are allowed a say in our country's decision making (allowed to vote). This may initially cause some sort of an outrage with people screaming about infringement of rights and all that jazz, but I think if our country stuck through it, it would eventually promote social and political awareness, which would generally improve our "problem-solving" seeing as we have a plethora of educated voices, rather than mindless masses with opinions based off of limited knowledge.

on Feb. 12 2015 at 7:33 pm
love_running BRONZE, Douglas, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Some people may be intelligent, but kids can be one sided. Their judgement may be based on their parents' opinions. I agree that kids should vote though, because, afterall, we're still more aware than most adults these days.

Aaaaa said...
on Feb. 4 2015 at 10:20 pm
Are you telling me this isn't true for adults too?

on Jan. 23 2015 at 10:19 am
9spaceking PLATINUM, Chantily, Virginia
25 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when you fall into a sewer hole and die."

If a 14 year old is not even responsible enough to drive, how can he/she listen to politicians, know their true stances and the problems of the world, and not be easily swayed by lame ads? They have to learn busily in school already; they simply cannot be able to have the privilege to vote! Who knows, the politicians may focus more on teen problems if we allow kids to vote! Nevertheless; a strong essay on the pro position.

on Jan. 22 2015 at 10:16 pm
In theory, I like this idea. It poses a problem, however: most children these days either aren't smart enough or don't care enough to make intelligent decisions about our futures. As for the first group, their vote will most likely be swayed by the public opinion of social media, which in turn is created by the second group. That group is made up of children who simply don't care about or cannot comprehend their future, so their votes would be affected by their current state. Want a new video game? Vote to put a cap on its price. Think that one presidential candidate is more attractive than the other? Vote for him (or her), even if their campaign is complete bull. Children simply aren't mature enough to make sophisticated decisions.

meganahmed said...
on Sep. 23 2014 at 7:57 pm
meganahmed, Columbus, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
yeah! this realy helps me  

JONJON2134 said...
on Mar. 12 2014 at 8:40 am
I totally agree, if we ware able to voice our opinions then we could impace our own future in a more direct way. And due to that we wouldn't have to live with the careless almost completely stupid things that adults vote for or do when it comes to the government. But maybe we can lower it to 14 because that seems like a more stable age group from my point of view.

faith1235 said...
on Jan. 2 2014 at 2:59 pm
I am a 12 year old a]nd I disagree completly. Kids most likely don't know that much about presidents wich they will learn more about when their older. They would get bored of the really long speeches thst the candidates make, so the kids wouldn't understand them. Kids could judge the candidates too quickly. Kids might also only chose what their parents or friends say and not what they think. And that is what I think.