Lowering the Voting Age to 16 Essay
Lowering the Voting Age to 16
A debate that has seemed to become more popular in the past couple of years is the voting age n the United States, and whether it should be lowered to 16. Many teenagers across the nation have reached out and tried to bigot to help get the subject some attention and get those in the political world talking. Many others, mostly adults, are astonished and appalled at this idea, and don’t seem to take them or the uproar towards the debate seriously. I have discovered three articles from a number of different kinds of sources on this debate.
To keep it interesting, I included articles that were opposed as well as proponents lowering the voting age. These articles are called ‘Top Ten Reasons for Lowering the Voting Age,’ ‘Don’t Drop the Voting Age,’ and ‘Maintain Our Voting Standards. ‘ The first article, called the ‘Top Ten Reasons for Lowering the Voting Age’ was written by the National Youth Rights Association. It held some very strong, solid arguments and reasons for convincing its audience of their claim to lower the voting age to 16.
It was surprising how many reasons they gave to support their views and content that they included common opposing arguments. The author also included evidence and reasoning to derail these common viewpoints on the matter. Logos was one of the most prevalent appeals used in this article, they tried to remain very logical so that their arguments were more sound and harder to prove wrong. One of the most common arguments used against lowering the voting age is that teenagers are not mature, responsible, or intelligent enough.
They managed to shed some light on this common viewpoint when they proclaimed that,”Voting Rights Act of 1965 states that: ‘any person who has not been adjudged an incompetent and who has completed the sixth grade in any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico where instruction is carried on predominantly in the English language, possesses sufficient literacy, comprehension, and intelligence to vote in any election. ‘
If a Sixth grade education is deemed adequate knowledge to vote, how can older youth be denied the right to vote? They managed to bring a refreshing new point to the table, with almost a slight sarcastic undertone. As the new idea begins to sink in, it is easy to agree with them, if a sixth grade education is the requirement to vote, then it is logical that sixteen year olds should be allowed to vote. They also continue on with using logical appeals, with a sensible point against the same subject, “The fact is, intelligence or maturity is not the basis upon which the right to vote is granted, if that were the case all voters would need to pass a test before voting.
Youth shouldn’t be held to a stricter standard than adults; lower the voting age. ” This statement is pretty straightforward and speaks for itself, although youth and adults are treated differently in other senses, on the subject of voting, if it is not based solely on maturity and intelligence, then what claims do the opposers have to stop the possibility of lowering the voting age? It keeps to the logical sense, and clearly undermines the common uncertainties toward the debate at hand.
If you think about what the author is trying to convey and what goal they are trying to reach, it is a national association trying to help get the voting age lowered, they didn’t use much ethos throughout their article, but it wasn’t really necessary for them to help reach this goal of rethinking the legal voting age. Their main appeal was logos, and that alone for them was powerful and convincing enough, because they remained pretty unbiased throughout the article and therefore remained purely logical and factual, which is easy to convince an audience as long as they understand it.
They were just trying to get the facts out there and explain why they feel the age should be lowered. They definitely have knowledge on the subject, and they definitely know what they’re talking about. An example of where they used ethos to help their claim is when they quote a college professor, ” A 1996 survey by Bruce Merrill, an Arizona State University journalism professor, found a strong increase in turnout. Merrill compared turnout of registered voters in five cities with Kids Voting with turnout in five cities without the program.
Merrill found that between five and ten percent of respondents reported Kids Voting was a factor in their decision to vote. This indicated that 600,000 adults nationwide were encouraged to vote by the program. ” This statement actually uses two appeals to ethos, an outside source who is knowledgable on the topic, and a statistical study that helps prove that lowering the voting age would probably help increase the voter turnout, although many people say otherwise.
Pathos also seemed absent in this article, but as I said before, was unnecessary, since they were trying to achieve a logical, complete argument that would be hard to undermine and easy to convince an audience. This is an effective way of convincing an audience without taking the easy way out, as many do, by appealing to just their emotions. Another common, easy way authors use to make their arguments is making unstated assumptions, which are easier to derail and also sort of the lazy way out, there are more dignified ways of making a solid claim, that won’t be rebuttaled so quickly.
Unstated assumptions is another tactic the author of the ‘Top Ten Reasons for Lowering the Voting Age’ did not include, which makes their article that much better, because as stated earlier, others aren’t so quick to rebuttal against them, since unstated assumptions don’t include real, legitmate reasons for their warrant and argument. The second article, ‘Don’t Drop the Voting Age,’ is from a Canadian online magazine that covers all kinds of topics, by Robyn Urback.
Her opinion is quite clear from the beginning of the article, when she begins with an imagination, “In this fantasyland, the Liberals are running on a strong platform of increased Justin Bieber performances, while the Conservatives are trailing with their “More School Dances” five-year-plan. The NDP’s “We’ll Talk to your Mom about Extending your Curfew” promise, however, hasn’t really taken off. ” Funny, yet a major over exaggeration, as if that is what would happen if teens were given the right to vote.
Her tone throughout this whole article, as shown in many quotes, shows that she does not take teens, even children, very seriously, she seems to look at the whole idea of lowering the voting age as a joke, and a sarcastic tone shines through in her writing often as well. She also compares B. C. Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong’s idea that 16-year-olds should be able to vote in provincial elections because it will create a “culture of engagement” by getting young people to the polls early, to giving out opsicles at polling stations.
It becomes ovious very quickly in her article that she is quite biased, and it seems that her clouded, close-minded judgment influences her ability to convince her audience and provide a solid argument for her claim in the beginning of her article. That being said, she still provides her audience with appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos, and tries to include many outside sources as well as remain more unbiased after her immature comments in the preface of her article.
She continues on, “While extending the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds would spectacularly increase turnout in the newly-formed “Under 18” category, the relative numbers will be just as abysmal as for those aged 18-24. In fact, they would probably be worse. Statistics show that voter turnout increases with age, even within the 18-24 category. So if those trends are any indication, 16-year-olds would likely have the worst showing of all. “
She begins this quote by using logic, that lowering the voting age would increase turnout in the under 18 category, stating the obvious, but says that they wouldnt be much different from the turnout for the 18-24 category. All very true, but how does she know that the number for those under eighteen wouldn’t be any different from those ages 18 to 24? In reality, she doesn’t, she is making an unstated assumption, which has no actual backing or evidence, and therefore does not help her argument at all, it really ruins it because all she did was provide us with her personal opinion and ideas, which does not help to convince us well.
She does appeal to ethos in this quote, by including that statistics (although she does include where they came from) show that voting increases with age. If that statement is true, and proven by statistics, then wouldn’t lowering the voting age to 16 help the 18-24 age group increase? She did not include that point, which is surprising considering it seems like a very good one, but it is obviously because this would again derail her previous argument that lowering the voting age would not help anything.
The author goes on to talk about the implications of a sixteen year old voting if they were “bribed by their parents, or by a stroke of luck” they voted, what knowledge would they have on what they’d be voting for? She makes a logical point to help this claim, “With few more than 14 years out of diapers, the newly-authorized voters would have little life experience from which to draw political conclusions or cast an informed vote. On the other hand though, being uninformed does not negate one’s right to vote.
Even when individuals are back in diapers, they can still cast a ballot, despite their perhaps eroding reasoning abilities. Of course, not all 90-year-olds have lost their wits, whereas no 16-year-old can remember, for example, the tax-happy premier that hijacked the province two terms ago. ” First off, makes sure that she added the word ‘diapers’ just to make sure that her audience doesn’t forget sixteen year olds still wear them, and she makes a point when she makses an analogy between teens’ lack of experience and knowledge to senior citizens’ lack of memory for their experiences, and they’re still technically allowed to vote.
She also touches on the fact that teens are easily influenced, “There have been countless studies affirming just how susceptible high school students are to outside influence– and just count the number of Canada Goose brand winter jackets you see on teens next time you’re in a mall if you have any doubts…. Politics would become an even dirtier game. ” She is once again making an unstated assumption that teens would be influenced by outside sources as much as she exaggerates that they do in her statement. Obviously, they aren’t, and she has no real, factual proof that they are influenced the way she says they are.
She ends her article with the statement, “Sixteen-year-olds should not be voting on that in which they have little stake, particularly during those formative years when “relativism” is just a word on an English pop quiz. ” She went out of her way to make sure that the reader did not forget that teens are, in fact, in high school. She included plenty of pathos throughout this article, with snide comments towards children, teens, and even the elderly, she made it very obvious, and she did not try to leave out her own personal emotions and disdain for lowering the voting age at all in her article.
It is astonishing that she included so much of her personal opinions and emotions, because that does not help in convincing her audience to believe what she believes, unless they already feel the same way as she does on the subject. ‘Mainaining Our Voting Standards’ was the last article chosen for this analysis, written by Michael J. Ring on the prestigious school of Massachusett’s Institute of Technology oldest online newspaper. He begins his article with the idea that both proposals to help lower he voting age at Cambridge City Council “Must be rejected. ” He also refers to these proposals as “Dangerous and problematic.
He also states that, “The protests of bitter, whining students over the new Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests demonstrate that many teens are not yet mature enough to participate in the political process. ” Maturity, a topic I touched on earlier in the National Youth Rights Association’s article analysis, where it is made clear that voting has nothing to do with intelligence and maturity when considering many older adults who have the same maturity as a ten year old. It is quite obvious from the beginning of this particular article what Michael J. Ring’s intent and opinion on the matter of lowering the voting age is, he feels very similarly about it as did Robyn Urback in her article I mentioned earlier, ‘Don’t Drop the Voting Age. ‘
He cares a lot about the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests, and feels that adolescents don’t. “A group of immature, angry teens could wreak havoc in a close school committee election, sweeping out candidates committed to high standards and true reform in favor of candidates who will oppose MCAS and pander to the students’ selfish, myopic vision. He pretty much compares teens to what sounds like a storm, ‘wreaking havoc’ and such. He makes a logical point when he states that, “Certainly, many 16-year-olds demonstrate the maturity that should be required of a voter, but undoubtedly many of their peers do not. ” Isn’t this true for adults as well? I could think of many adults with the maturity of a teenager, which makes teens not much different.
He makes another point by using appeal to logos, “Councillors argue that engaging teens in the political process before they leave for college will allow them to become knowledgeable about hometown politics and form a voting habit before leaving for college… Any young voter away at college can easily follow hometown happenings with a little initiative. ” News and information of happenings around the world is easy to find, fact. Obvious, but true point Michael J. Ring. He makes a terrible unstated assumption when he says, “Allowing non-citizens to vote creates the same problem that allowing 16-year-olds to vote would create.
Granting the franchise to non-citizens injects a pool of voters who have no obligation to learn about our political institutions into the electorate. ” He is comparing sixteen year olds to non-citizens and saying that sixteen year olds are not obligated to vote, basically, which is assuming that they don’t know or care about many of the topics they would vote on if allowed the priviledge. Surprising that an author pulished in such an esteemed school’s online newspaper would make such a frivilous mistake.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 8 January 2017
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