Elevate Maryland is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to (if not my favorite)…and they had Opel Jones (Howard County Council Member from District 2) on recently…and he mentioned lowering the voting age to 16. Now I really like Opel Jones and I was a supporter of his during his campaign…but this initiative concerns me a lot…and it should you as well.

Here is a clip of the Elevate Maryland (around to 20 minute mark of the audio clip) interview and what he said:

Now we do not let kids drink until they are 21…and we do not let kids smoke until they are 18 (and that is trying to be changed to 21 here in Maryland)…and we do not let kids join the military until they are 18…and we do this because we do not think they have matured enough to make smart decisions in those areas…but let them vote and elect members that write laws at 16…hard to square that circle with me.

Look…if you believe kids are mature enough at 16 to be adults and make adult decisions…let them do it all…but there are very few of us that have kids or have had kids at 16 that believe they are there at that age.

Many kids at that age are more liberal than they are conservative…is that the goal of this initiative…is it to get more voters on your side of the ticket? The question has to be asked by someone…because I can not believe it is that someone believes that they are old enough to make informed intelligent decisions when it comes to electing members that write the laws that they have to live by going forward…but maybe that is just me.

I love the idea of finding ways to involve younger voters in the voting process…and the local Board of Education does that…and maybe we can find other options…but this idea seems like a bad one to me.

I have not spoken with Opel about his comments on Elevate Maryland about this topic…but hope to in the near future.

I am curious what you think…let me know in the comments.

Be sure to listen to Elevate Maryland often…they have great guests…and I am loving that they have the new Howard County Council members on the show right now…that is just awesome:  http://elevatemaryland.libsyn.com/. I hope to be big time enough to be on the show someday…LOL.

It is a bad weather day…so stay safe out there folks.

Scott E

3 COMMENTS

  1. I understand the concept of floating ideas to see what sticks.
    Now, I really question Jones decision making process if he is serious about this idea.

    Maybe, Jones was an adult when he was 16.
    But, I did a lot of stupid things when I was between the age of 16 and 19.

    At 16, a teenager is extremely impressible and easily swayed by peer pressure.
    Do we want social media or mob mentality making political decisions effecting Howard County citizens?
    I am not sure how many would actually show up to vote?

    Do we want a 16 yr old voting for a Board of Ed candidate that promises 1/2 days for high school seniors? (I realize that is a extreme example.)

    There are a lot more important things Jones could work on.
    How about creating more summer jobs for teenagers where they could learn a skill, learn the benefits of hard work and obligation and commitment?

  2. Maturity is very relative; I know some still very immature 23 years olds. And consider 100 years ago, 16 year olds were working in the factory, some were getting married. I think if the kids want to get involved, we should encourage it and allow them to vote. If we have misgivings, then require some training in civics class, perhaps certification of completion. I dare say, the kids could easier be smarter voters than many of the existing electorate.

  3. Voting at 16???? Children are very easily misled. This begs the question- how low do we go? How about 14 or even 12 years of age? Since babies are citizens at birth …

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