Why lower the voting age?
America is in a major voting crisis. The 2014 election cycle had the lowest youth voter turnout in history, and in Colorado, school board elections are amongst the lowest voter turn outs of any election. Now more than ever, in an era of bitter partisanship and record-low voter turnout, we need to ensure that our young people learn how to engage in healthy debate on civic decisions and form positive voting habits early on. Engaging 16 and 17 years olds in school board elections will help accomplish this aim.
increase fair representation
Young people are significantly underrepresented in government. School board decisions have great influence on the lives of 16- and 17-year-olds. They deserve to vote, and research shows they are mature enough to do so.
improve civic engagement
Research suggests that casting a first ballot at 16 or 17 will lead to a lifetime of voting and civic engagement.
promote practical civic education
Participating in school board elections teaches young people how to research candidates, identify and debate key issues, and effectively participate in an election before they graduate from high school.