Amendment to lower voting age to 16 fails, despite majority of Democrats supporting

by Peter Heck · Mar 4th, 2021 8:41 am

Last Updated Mar 5th, 2021 at 2:12 pm

The House of Representatives voted down an amendment offered by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) that sought to lower the voting age in the United States to 16. Though the final vote tally was 125-302, a majority of House Democrats voted in favor of the legislation, 125-93.

Speaking in favor of her amendment, Pressley argued that 16-year-olds now had the maturity necessary to justify voting rights.

"A sixteen-year-old in 2021 possesses a wisdom and a maturity that comes from 2021 challenges, 2021 hardships, and 2021 threats," Pressley said. "Now is the time for us to demonstrate the courage that matches the challenges of the modern-day sixteen- and seventeen-year-old."

Pressley has pressed this case before, telling anti-racism activist and author Ibram X. Kendi in a Facebook Live conversation that she was "shocked" that her idea engendered so much opposition.

"Our young people deserve to have a stakeholder in our democracy," she said to Kendi.

Even though the federal legislation failed, some states like Hawaii have introduced their own bills to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 within their own jurisdiction.


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