What's Your Take?: Too Young to Vote

News & Politics

I do think it is very much important. I just turned 18 in June, but that did not stop me from going to political rallies when I was younger and last year from helping out during the Recall, Mayoral and primary elections. I am also going to vote and help with the Presidential elections.
Jennifer Johnson, 18, San Francisco, CA

Yes, I personally think it's still important to be involved somehow, even if it's just giving your opinion, or having an opinion at all. I'm not able to vote for another three years, but I still have [the right to] express my opinion often to anyone who will listen. If you don't voice an opinion or get involved and become educated, you won't be prepared when you are of age to vote. People need to educate themselves and do some research about the candidates, instead of being ignorant and voting for Bush because he came from Texas or for Kerry because he has a daughter who's pretty. The people who are voting like that, and not getting involved before they're able to vote, are the ones digging us deeper and deeper into a hole.
Meghan Zugibe, 15, Rockland County, NY

Even though they are not considered adults I think it is important to know what�s going on in the world. Who is elected president, whether you voted for him or not, effects you greatly. The choices that the president makes can change peoples lives forever. The fact that you can't vote shouldn�t hold you back from expressing your opinions. Too many people under 18, even people over 18, think that it is unimportant what goes on in the elections. When in fact it could be the biggest event in your life. The actions of one person, no matter how old can effect an unknown amount of people. So even if you are under 18 it is important to be involved, the decisions/actions of the president change your life.
Nina Russell, 14, Washington, D.C

It is extremely vital for youth to be involved in politics, even if they cannot vote. The young population of the U.S. is the most underrepresented and marginalized segment of our society, and as such, our opinions never reach the open debate pool. The only way to get the word out about issues that affect youth - such as education, health, and curfews - is to actively raise awareness of these issues by supporting politicians who agree with your opinions, by working to oppose those you disagree with, or by taking other steps to ensure that you do not remain a silenced voice. Until the voting age is lowered, alternative participation in politics will remain the only way for youth to have any meaningful political voice in this country.

When someone is elected to an office, that decision affects everyone. Although not everyone is allowed to weigh in on who may one day use their taxes, youth should still try to be heard. Many adults may think us uneducated and irresponsible unknown factors, but we are far from any of those things. We care, we are affected, and we should try to shape the world we will one day inherit.
Patrick Ward, 17, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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