Why the Voting Age Should Stay at 18: Examining Maturity of Teenagers

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Arguments Against Lowering the Voting Age From 18
  • Teenagers' Apathy Towards Voting
    Lack of Teen Relevance to Political Outcomes
    Lack of Understanding Among Voters Under the Age of 18
  • Conclusion


Teen voters do make a difference, but that doesn't mean they will vote. “In 2010 the turnout of people 18 to 24 years of age was just 21%” (D.K.). There are multiple reasons why teens don’t vote. Teens today are lazy, they don't think their vote counts, they don’t care what party or person wins, and lastly they don’t feel as if the issues, or changes, that are affected by who wins, relate to them. Also, the voting age is 18 and the government wants to drop it to 16, but why should they if 18 year olds don’t even vote? “The same pattern could occur if 16-year-olds were given the right to vote. Younger voters typically turn out at much lower rates” (Chief). In my opinion, the voting age should remain at 18 because the voting percentage for teens will go down more than it already has if they change the voting age to 16. I will be listing all the arguments for why should the voting age stay at 18.

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Arguments Against Lowering the Voting Age From 18

Teenagers' Apathy Towards Voting

Teens in this generation are lazy and they think voting is a waste of time. “One explanation favoured by older people is that the young are simply lazy”(D.K.). There are different parts to voting. For example, there is sometimes a long line and the decision of who you will vote for. Adolescents consider this, so they don’t want to take time out of their day to select a party, or candidate. Another reason can be that they care more about celebrity news, or what is on their phone. “We take too many selfies and are too involved in celebrity news. We are too involved in technology” (Esaili). I think, if teens would pay more attention to the outside world, they would know more about politics and be more willing to vote because they would actually care.

Another reason teenagers today decide not to vote is because they do not think their vote counts. “But many collegiates think their vote doesn’t count…” (Esaili). They think that their vote is just one vote and will not make a difference of who wins and loses, but in reality if all teens think that no teens will vote. If all teens thought their vote count, they would vote and their would be a different outcome in the election. Maybe adults, or friends could encourage the young to vote. If teens did vote there would be a huge change in the outcome of our elections today.

Lack of Teen Relevance to Political Outcomes

Teens are young voters, so they do not relate to what goes on in politics. For example, different outcomes happen depending on who wins, but since teens are just now getting jobs, do not have kids, or have to pay taxes, they don’t care what the outcomes are. “Having children and owning property gives you a direct interest in how schools and hospitals are run, and whether parks and libraries are maintained” (D.K.). Teens view it as why should they vote if it doesn’t affect them either way. Some teens could be affected by it some time later in the four year term of presidency, they just don’t think about that. If teens still put forth what they think is right without it affecting them, it could change the final outcome. Some teens decide to vote what their parents vote just because it’s easier for them overall. In my opinion, teens should show interest in politics and figure out their opinions on the situation, so they know exactly what they want to vote for. Then all they have to do is go vote.

Lack of Understanding Among Voters Under the Age of 18

Lastly, teens simply don’t understand politics or the government. If they did, they would show more interest in voting. Some schools have government classes, unlike other schools that may not provide a government class. Some schools may have a government class, but the students decide not to take the course. “Whenever young people are surveyed, there is a significant lack of knowledge about how exactly the government works, and, therefore, how their vote actually matters- nearly 20 percent of young people said they don’t think they know enough to be able to vote” (YSA). This meaning, teens don’t want to make the wrong decision when voting based off their lack ok knowledge. Therefore, they decide to leave the voting for the adults who know a lot about politics and know exactly who they want to vote for.


One question is should the government lower the voting age to 16. People have different opinions on this question. In my opinion, I think the voting age should stay at 18. Young adults already don’t vote, so why lower it when they won’t vote. “With 18-year olds fighting in Vietnam, it seemed wrong to say they couldn’t vote for their national leaders until they were 21” (Davenport). Basically, in 1971 the voting age was lowered to 18 so the 18 year olds fighting in war would have a say in who their leader would be. Since you can’t be in the military until you are 18, there is no reason why 16 year olds would have to vote. People who serve in the military are employed by the government and whether or not they are required to engage in a war is dependent on our governments policies. Therefore, people who serve experience more real world problems at the age of 18, than ones who don’t. “Perhaps it should also be a question of having a real stake in the process—such as serving in the military (age 18, or 17 with parental consent) or writing a check to the government to pay your taxes” (Davenport). 16 year olds still live with their parents, so they don’t have to experience paying taxes, or bills.      

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