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.