Golden Considers Younger Voting Age

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The age of majority, which is 16 in Colorado, in most states within the United States is 18, however this law is determined by the state and city governments. This power coincides with determining the age at which people in that state or city/county are allowed to vote.

In Golden, Colorado, there have been rumors circulating that the City Council may be opting to lower their voting age to 16 on the ballot this November 2018, but only for municipal elections. Municipal elections are local elections or elections within a specific county. Less than

50% of the population between 18-29 didn’t participate in the municipal election of 2016, which may have had a very hard impact on the results of the election. The middle aged, from about 35-50, their population participates appropriately, and the elderly population, 65+, participates fervently, but alas, the oldest in the population won’t be alive long enough for the rest of the population to pick up the pace with voting if this current pace of voting-laziness continues.

The city of Golden recognizes this, and sees the potential for an increase in election attendance if they were to lower the voting age. An official named Andrew Coyne states that “Supporters like to say they know many 16-year-olds who are as bright and informed as any 18-year-old, which is surely true. In the same way, there are undoubtedly many 14-year-olds as bright and informed as any 16-year-old. And many 12-year-olds who are as bright and informed as any 14-year old. And so on.”

The community of Golden recognizes the intellect of the younger generations, and believes that utilizing their insite would help boost election attendance and provide for more accurate representation in future elections. Some are concerned that letting such a large group of young people vote could offset the balance of the elections, though. The older, experienced voters are also against the idea of having younger, inexperienced people vote on issues that don’t affect them, claiming it practically punishes those who the legislation does apply to. Letting the younger population vote could actually create some imbalance, considering that there are more young than there are elderly, especially in Golden, due to it being a college town. And considering that a lot of students and young people will be distracted with their academics, that raises another concern that they will be too distracted to vote with the maturity needed for thorough and responsible voting. Many are concerned that that lack of maturity could sway elections, due to there being an unbalanced ratio of younger vs. older, and offset politics and harm the community.

There are many benefits of letting the younger population participate in Golden’s municipal elections, but there are also some potential downsides as well.

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