Lower the Voting Age?
Rockville Mayor and Council Public Hearing on allowing the 16-year-olds
and noncitizens to vote in Rockville elections.
February 6, 2023,
I am Brigitta Mullican, a 57-year Rockville citizen whose parents had to wait 5 years before they were eligible to become a citizen. I had to be 18 to complete my U.S. naturalization status. Voting is a privilege.
I strongly oppose allowing 16-year-old and non-citizens to vote in the Rockville Elections.
If you think age 16 is ok, why not consider 15? There are restrictions for 16-year-old drivers and there are good reasons for that.
Young adults under 18 are the responsibility of parents. Experts say that 16- and 17-year-olds demonstrate a lower interest in politics, have less political knowledge, and lack the real-life experience needed to participate in the elections. Some social scientist state 16- and 17-year-olds wouldn’t be competent voters because “research in neuroscience suggests that the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is still undergoing major reconstruction and development during the teenage years,’ and added that the prefrontal cortex is what “enable us to weigh dilemmas, balance trade-offs and, in short make reasonable decisions in politics.”
People under 18 are subject to different labor, contract, and criminal responsibility laws, and are not allowed to join the military without parental consent or serve on a jury. Most are still living at home and would be influenced by the voting choices of their parents.
The 18-29 age group has extremely low voter turnout numbers, suggesting that people aren’t ready to vote until later in life.
The City of Takoma Park reported that 66 of the 138 registered 16/17-year-old voters actually voted in November.
There are 524 Rockville registered voters at the age of 16-17 according to the MC BOE. Is this the number you want voting in our Rockville election?
The vast majority of Americans of all ages and political views agree that 16-year-olds should not be given the right to vote. There is a survey that found 8% support lowering the voting age to 16. Talking to voters in Rockville, I did not hear overwhelming support for lowering the voting age in fact they believe it is a crazy idea.
Please oppose allowing 16-year-old and noncitizens to vote in Rockville Elections.