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Should we lower the voting age?

Voting rights are always a topic of conversation during election season and even well afterward, but some teens under voting age are bringing national attention to their own inability to vote. They say that teens pay taxes and are mature enough to understand the consequences of their vote, but critics say the responsibility is too much.


Unlikely Advocates Push To Give 16-Year-Olds A Vote — And A Voice

Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?

Additional resources to think about

The Youth Effort To Lower The Voting Age To 16
Youth organizers want the voting age lowered to 16. NPR's Michel Martin finds out about their effort from Lorelei Vaisse of Vote16USA.

Voting at 16: Does it make a difference?
This BBC My World video talks to youth who can and can't vote around the world and what voting means to them.

Should the Voting Age Be Lowered?
A recent wave of student activism is fueling the debate about lowering the voting age nationwide. Two researchers square off about whether that would be a good idea.

DC Teens Fight to Lower Voting Age to 16
This PBS NewsHour video from the Student Reporting Labs discusses how a student-run  organization is lobbying to lower the voting age in DC.

Should more 16 year olds get the vote?
This video from BBC My World asks why so few countries around the world let their youth vote in elections.

16-Year-Olds Want a Vote. Fifty Years Ago, So Did 18-Year-Olds.
This article from The New York Times details the fight for the youth vote, from 1969 to 2019.

Youth Voter Turnout: Why Is It So Low?
In this Above the Noise video, Myles investigates why voter turnout from young people is so low.

Cast Your Vote
In this game from iCivics, prepare for election day by learning how to become an informed voter and cast your ballot.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
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  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Should we lower the voting age?

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