Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Votes for Youth: A Campaign Begins!

May 18, 2012

Across America, a campaign is launching.  It is a struggle for that most precious right of American democracy: the right to vote.  While the vote does not guarantee anything, without it even the most cherished rights can be stripped away without penalty.

For millions of Americans the right to vote is simply a dream.  They watch friends and family cast their ballots wondering why they too can’t make their voices heard.  They have strongly held beliefs about the economy, or the environment or foreign policy. They know as much about politics and government, maybe more, than most voters. Yet they are denied this most basic right.

For millions of Americans, the time to sit by and take their disenfranchisement is over.  Now is the time to act.  These Americans, like their brethren around the globe, are organizing, working, struggling and demanding their own suffrage right:  Votes for Youth!

Votes for Youth is a youth-led movement to enfranchise young people in the United States by lowering the voting age.

High school aged students want the right to vote and need the right to vote to protect their interests and make their voices heard.  Votes for Youth joins the tradition of other youth enfranchisement movements like the UK’s Votes at 16.  Youth have also played a role in current efforts to lower the voting age elsewhere around the globe, including  Scotland, Australia, Canada and Estonia.  Austria has already lowered its voting age to 16, as have Brazil and Ecuador.

The American effort to lower the voting age has been around for years, but largely under the radar.  In 2008, high school student leaders at the National Youth Rights Association produced the first campaign ad for a lower voting age, which aired in Washington D.C.

The 2012 Votes for Youth campaign is a broad effort to expand the youth suffrage movement nationwide, by all means available.  Youth will be protesting, but they will also be blogging, tweeting, writing letters to the editor and contacting local, state and national leaders.  Look for youtube videos by ordinary young people, explaining why they want and need the right to vote.

If you would like to learn more, please go to NYRA Launches Votes for Youth Campaign.  For reason WHY the voting age should be lowered (in case you’re not completely convinced), check out Top 10 Reasons to Lower the Voting Age and the Voting Age Talking Points.

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Election 2012: The “I Want My Vote!” Campaign Begins!

March 10, 2012

All over the world, the movement to lower the voting age is growing: from Scotland, to Canada to Estonia people are waking up to the need for youth to have their voice heard in electing the leaders who will so greatly impact their future. Now it’s America’s turn!

In 2012, during this critical election year, young people of all ages are demanding more than mere promises or platitudes from politicians. They are raising their voices as one, to declare- “I Want My Vote!”

The “I Want My Vote” campaign is about young people, of all ages, of all politics and points of view, working together to bring about change.

Look for protests across America, in big cities and timely towns.
Young people will be speaking out, demanding the rights so many adults take for granted!
Check back here regularly for updates on key developments! Or better yet, Subscribe to this Blog!

And if you want to learn more about WHY the voting age must be lowered, check out the National Youth Rights Association’s excellent Top 10 Reasons to Lower the Voting Age and Voting Age Talking Points.

Huffington Post Columnist: Lower the Voting Age

June 10, 2009

The Huffington Post’s Nancy Lublin founder of sets forth yet another strong argument to lower the voting age to 17. Please check out the full article, but here are a few key points:

  • 17 year olds work (and pay taxes)
  • 17 year olds drive and operate heavy machinery
  • 17 year olds can be tried as adults in 36 states
  • 17 year olds can enlist in the miltary

As Ms. Lublin points out:

If we are comfortable entrusting these young individuals with defending our country and our honor, then they should be given the right to vote for their boss, the Commander in Chief. If we are comfortable arming them with a lethal weapon as they patrol in the name of freedom, then perhaps they’re responsible enough to be armed with the right to vote.

As the chorus grows for a lower voting age, I will try to increase my posts (hopefully daily).  There is a lot going on with this issue!  Let’s all get involved and play a part in history!

Teens Produce Commercials For Lower Voting Age

April 29, 2009

History was recently made when the National Youth Rights Association’s South East Florida Chapter created the first commericals ever urging a lower voting age!
The chapter, composed of high school students from the West Palm Beach area, wrote and produced the ads, which aired on Washington D.C. cable tv last fall. These commercials are the first salvo on the coming push by young people themselves to lower the voting age to empower themselves to improve America. Check out the commercials and a related tv-news story below. And provide some comments!

    Commercial



    News Story


Another Voice for a Lower Voting Age

April 28, 2009

While you’ll hear a lot about big names supporting a lower voting age, from Michael Moore

to Nelson Mandela.  But the most important supporters of a lower voting age are ordinary people, and especially young people themselves!

Here is a brand new youtube video from Tracy Chacon, a youth intern with Albuquerque’s Southwest Organizing Project
Her arguments are based on fairness: teens work and pay taxes; they should have the right to vote for their own interests!
I will post more videos from young people themselves in support of a lower voting age! And I encourage everyone to record a youtube video argument your point of view!

So who supports lowering the voting age?

March 26, 2009

A surprising number of political leaders, academics and creative artists support enfranchising high-school aged teens.  Politically they include liberals, moderates and conservatives.  Here are a few key individuals.

National/Worldwide Political Leaders

  • Michael Moore, filmaker (Supports voting age of 16)
  • Dennis Kucinich, Congressman, Ohio (D)(Supports voting age of 16)
  • Jackie Speier, Congresswoman, California (D) (Proposed voting age of 14 for California in 1995)
  • John B. Anderson, Former Congressman (R)(Supports voting age of 16)
  • Ralph Nader, 2008 Candidate for President
  • Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa (Proposed voting age of 14 in 1994)

State and Local Political Leaders

  • Arizona-Ed Ableser and Meg Burton, State Representatives (Proposed Voting Age of 16 in 2009)
  • IllinoisLou Lang, State Representative (Proposed Voting Age of 17 in 2008)
  • Minnesota-Phylllis Kahn, State Representative (Proposed Voting Age of 16)
  • New York- Gale Brewer (New York City Council Member- Proposed Voting Age of 16 in 2005)

Keep checking back in (more names will be added).  In the meantime, take a look at the National Youth Rights Association’s list of efforts to lower the voting age worldwide.

So Why Lower the voting Age?

March 26, 2009

Your first question may be Why lower the voting age at all? Isn’t eighteen perfectly appropriate.
Here are my thoughts. Please add your own in the comments section.  There are really two central lines of argument.

  • Youth need the right to vote

On issue after issue, youth are most deeply and long-lastingly affected by the major problems that affect our society.  Whether it’s  climate change (which will affect them long after we are gone), the budget debt (which is on their backs) or social security (which they may never receive).  Additionally, most sixteen and seventeen year-olds work, and all youth under 18 pay over $9.7 billion taxes alone.

  • Lowering the Voting Age Would Encourage the Life Long Voting Habit

Allowing teens to vote at a younger age (say 16) would set youth on the path to lifelong voting.  Why?  Teens who are 16 or 17 usually live at home, most in communities they have resided for many years. They are often closely tied to those communities, and keenly feel local political developments (whether changes in education quality or city curfew laws). On the other hand, many 18 year olds are in a new community (often away at school). But even if still at home they are usually occupied by full-time work or college. Thus, high school students are more likely to exercise their right to vote than their college siblings would be.