Best and Brightest: Oregon May Lower Its Voting Age to 16



Sixteen-year-olds are lots of things. Is politically astute one of them?

Following the Civil War, the voting age was set to 21 by Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.


In part due to so many men between 18 and 20 being drafted for the Vietnam War, Congress was pressured into the Voting Rights Act of 1970. The Supreme Court then ruled the act could only apply to federal elections; subsequently, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment came about, lowering the voting age to 18 across all federal, state, and local elections in the U.S.

Maybe they thought 18-year-olds were smarter in 1971 than they’d been in the wake of the Civil War.

Are 16-year-olds today smarter than they were in 1971? Are they smarter than they were at the end of the Civil War?

Are 28-year-olds today smarter than 16-year-olds after the Civil War? What about ones from New York who minored in Economics and are committed to fighting cow farts (see here, here, here, and here)? Are those smarter?

I reference my previous assertion.

Nevertheless, lawmakers in Oregon are considering amending the state’s constitution to lower the voting age to 16.

A proposed bill, once passed, will allow voters to decide the state’s ballot-casting age in 2020.

The citizenry will finally have their chance to say, “Yes, please let my 16-year-old kid determine the fate of Oregon.”


Guess which party wants it to happen?

At a news conference in Salem, Democratic State Sen. Shemia Fagan promoted the idea:

“Sixteen-year-olds are subject to our criminal justice system. They are couch-surfing with friends while their families experience homelessness, and they’re begging us to take action to protect their future.”

They are?? And letting 16-year-olds vote will stop the homelessness and protect the future?

Why hasn’t Shemia already protected teens’ future? And if politics can fix homelessness, why hasn’t she already nipped it in the bud?

What will be some of the 16-year-old voters’ demanded platforms? Let me take a stab at it:

  • iPhones For All
  • Lots of Money For all
  • Concert Tickets For All
  • Cool Clothes For All
  • Cool Cars For All
  • All Things For All
  • All Things For All…For All

South Salem High School senior Maria Torres told The Oregonian she’s ready to start the revolution:

“We need to be able to take our work to the ballot and protect the policies we’re working so hard to pass.”

Over the last 15 years, 13 states have introduced legislation to lower the voting age. None of them have passed.


Perhaps because those making the decision have met 16-year-olds.

What do you think the voting age should be? Please let us all know in the Comments section below.



Relevant RedState links in this article: here, here, here, and here, and here.

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