2012 is a year of change for America. With the election rapidly approaching, political discussions are abundant. Young people are becoming increasingly more involved in the election—they hear about it in the media, they read about it in history class and they form their own opinions on issues. So, my question is this: If politics has an impact on people under the age of 18, why aren't minors allowed to vote?
I understand that minors may not know enough information about an issue to cast a vote on it. But there are numerous issues that young people experience firsthand. Considering children are a huge component of the American population, I feel the government should focus on more issues that directly affect young people.
Take bullying, for example. In recent years, bullying has cost the lives of many young people. Lots of children deal with this issue on a regular basis.
Another good example of an issue that affects youth is school budget cuts. Schools have lost great teachers, programs and opportunities due to the lack of funding.
Because these issues have a huge impact on young people's lives, I believe minors should be able to cast their vote on them.
Decades ago, the legal voting age was 21. It was only 41 years ago that 18-year-olds received the right to vote. But why 18? Why not 16, or 15, or 14? Here's the way I see it: Because minors are members of this country, they're affected by the government as much as anyone else.
As Grace Llewellyn wrote in The Teenage Liberation Handbook, "Regardless of what the law has to say about this, you are as human as anyone over the age of 18."