Letter to the Editor: Measure 2E is good for democracy

Posted 11/2/18

This year’s Golden Ballot Measure 2E invites 16- and 17-year olds into our community’s democratic process, voting on hometown issues and familiar candidates under family and school guidance. …

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Letter to the Editor: Measure 2E is good for democracy

Posted

This year’s Golden Ballot Measure 2E invites 16- and 17-year olds into our community’s democratic process, voting on hometown issues and familiar candidates under family and school guidance. The proposal’s proven advantages include: (1) developing a lifelong voting habit; (2) establishing a voting pattern before the transitional circumstances of the low-turnout 18-25 year-old age group; and (3) renewing interest in municipal elections across the age spectrum.
In casting their ballots, Goldenites may reflect on neuroscientists’ findings that in situations (like voting) that call for unhurried and unemotional decision-making, adolescents’ judgment is as mature as that of adults. Social science research conducted in the American cities and foreign countries that allow voting at 16 confirms this conclusion. Analyses of voting behavior conclude that young voters are interested in participating in civic life and capable of making quality decisions.
As one research group put it, there is no evidence indicating that teenagers “are less able or less motivated to participate effectively in politics. [C]ritics of lowering the voting age to 16 need to look again at the arguments they use, and … consider the potential positive impact of such a reform.” Wagner, Johann, and Kritzinger, Voting at 16: Turnout and the quality of vote choice, Electoral Studies, Vol. 31, Issue 2 (2012).
Golden voters, please join me and vote in favor of giving Golden’s engaged, knowledgeable, and interested 16- and 17-year-olds a voice in our municipal elections.
Marjorie Sloan,
Mayor of Golden

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