Voting age D.C.


D.C council members vote on a bill. A similar process will happen for the voting age bill later this year.

Sophia Becker, Print News Editor

Washington D.C. has been bustling recently with student protests, cherry blossom festivities and general spring tourism. Besides the usual commotion, D.C. is bombarded with questions about the rumored change to make the voting age 16 in the district. D.C. Council member Charles Allen introduced legislation with the intention of lowering the voting age in D.C. from 18 to 16. The purpose of the bill is to channel the youth activists that have been proposing change in the forms of protests and presentations for councilmen and women. According to the D.C. census, this would allow 11,831 teens to vote.Takoma Park made the change for their local government in 2013 to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote, but only in municipal elections. Other towns in Maryland and California have since joined in the movement. Allen’s reasoning behind 16 being an appropriate age to vote is because that is also the age in which teenagers can drive, pay taxes and work.

Students at WJ see this change to be a step in a new direction, but many feel it is too soon to decide if that is the right direction. Junior Grace Burgett feels strongly that this change makes sense due to the recent activism lead by the youth of this country.

“It seems that many high school students are more mature and civil than some of the contentious members of Congress,” Burgett said.

Other students feel this plan is not as thought out as it seems and could lead to some bad results.

“Allowing 16 year olds to have a say in government is super weird, how do you know if those kids are ready to help run a country?” an anonymous source said.

The bill was presented to the D.C. Council on April 11, and is being discussed by the representatives and community members.