Bill sparks debate over voting age

Bill sparks debate over voting age
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Council members in Washington D.C. consider changing local voting age to 16

Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are considering a measure that would lower the city’s voting age to 16.

The bill was introduced by D.C. council member Charles Allen (D) last week. Allen said students who traveled to D.C. for last month’s “March for Our Lives” event inspired the legislation.

If approved, the bill would lower the city’s voting age to 16 in time for the 2020 elections. While several cities allow 16-year-olds to vote in some capacity, Allen’s bill puts D.C. on track to become the first municipality to allow minors ages 16 and 17 to vote in federal elections.

Similar proposals have failed in states in the past, but not because of the legality of the issue. While the 26th Amendment gives 18-year-olds the right to vote, it does not prevent states or cities from further reducing minimum voting ages.

Thus far, a majority of D.C. council members say they support the bill; 7 of the 13 have already signed on.

On Tuesday, KXLY 4 asked Facebook users if they thought 16-year-olds should have the right to vote. 92% of participants said no.