The growing liberal movement to lower the legal voting age to 16 has gained momentum across the country. It has resulted in several victories for the cause, with the backing of activists and politicians on the left.
In Boston, the City Council voted to allow 17- and 16-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.
The petition to lower the voting age to 16 in Massachusetts will be sent to the state legislature for approval. Cities and towns in the state have already voted for similar proposals, but they have not been able to pass the House.
The City Council members argued that allowing young people to vote would help them develop a habit of participating in the political process.
Some people argued that teenagers should not have a say in public life. They noted that they can play active roles in society, but they can't participate in the political process.
Proponents of the lower voting age argue that teenagers are already mature enough to make their own decisions when it comes to politics. They noted that they often educate their parents and other relatives about the candidates running for office.
Due to the growing movement to lower the voting age, legal challenges and protests have been made by election experts.
One of the main arguments against lowering the voting age is that teenagers' brains are still not fully developed until they reach the age of 25. In 2006, a study revealed that the brain's prefrontal cortex is still undergoing major development during this period. This region is believed to play a role in making sound decisions.
If the voting-age measure in Boston passes, then the city will join several other places in the country that allow 17- and 16-year-olds to participate in municipal elections. These include Oakland and Berkley in California, as well as five other cities in Maryland.
Despite the potential gains that lowering the voting age could make, some observers believe that the Vote 16 movement is part of the Democrats' efforts to change various voting rules.