|Ireland Baldwin voted|
In a small town less than 10 miles from Washington, D.C., dozens of residents in Cheverly, Maryland, braved the blistering cold and pouring rain to attend Wednesday’s town council meeting and provide testimony on whether the locality should allow individuals as young as 16 to vote in local elections.
“I haven’t heard a good reason for it. I can think of a number of reasons why not,” Fred Price Jr., a Marine Corps veteran and 50-year Cheverly resident, told The Federalist. “[But] I’d like it to go to a referendum, so I [can] have more time to think about it.”
|So did Bebe Rexha|
Similar to other municipalities throughout the country, Cheverly’s minimum voting age is set at 18 years old, with Article V of the town’s charter furthermore requiring residents to have lived in Cheverly “at least thirty days prior to the day of any general or special election” in order to vote. Within the past few years, the town council adopted an amendment to Article V allowing non-U.S. citizens meeting such residency requirements to vote in local contests.
Like much of the country when it comes to election-related issues, attendees of Wednesday’s town hall appeared heavily divided on whether to open up the town’s electoral process to minors. Proponents of the initiative argued that lowering the voting age is logical because, as they opined, today’s teenagers are given more responsibilities than previous generations.
“I think teenagers today do bear a lot more responsibility, have a lot more knowledge, and are actually granted privileges that probably weren’t granted to younger people before,” Linda Cruz, who’s lived in Cheverly since 2001, told The Federalist. “I took my kids to get bank accounts and they’re [getting offered] a debit card at age 13. So, there’s a lot more rights and responsibilities happening [at] younger and younger [ages], so why not voting?”
How long will it take until the kids vote themselves free burgers and milkshakes?