Giving kids the keys to the ballot box
It’s the latest partisan power grab to gin up the Democratic vote and of course it’s all happening in hipper than hip Somerville, MA.
The delusional City Council in the ultra liberal enclave voted unanimously to hand 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in city elections, a trendy move that comes after U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley tried unsuccessfully to pass a similar measure in Congress.
Somerville’s effort to broaden the Democratic electoral base is likely to be thwarted by the state Legislature — which must approve any change in voting age — but you never know these days.
Pressley’s bill won over 100 votes in the Democratic-controlled House and with progressive Democrats gaining a bigger foothold on Beacon Hill, lawmakers there could make a push to approve Somerville’s new law, going around moderate House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
And before you know it, thousands of sullen, Snapchatting 16-year-olds and their not-yet-fully formed brains will be trudging to the polls to support their favorite Democratic polls or vote to put plastic bag users in prison.
Supporters of lowering the voting age argue that young people are becoming more politically active and should have a say in elections.
“They have so much to offer; they have been out there leading the charge for social equity and social progress,” Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said. “They’re showing us in so many ways what leadership looks like.”
Right. That’s why voter turnout among young adults has historically been the lowest of all age groups, lagging way behind older adults.
Youth turnout did surge in 2018 but it was still only about 30 percent, and that was for federal elections, not municipal ones. Go to any precinct near Boston University on municipal Election Day and you’ll find largely empty voting booths. It’s tough enough to get a teenager out of his room, let alone getting them to the polls.
Let’s just call this move to lower the voting age what it is — a blatant attempt to swell the rolls of Democrats.
It’s why Bernie Sanders wants felons like the Boston Marathon bomber to vote, while other Democrats want noncitizens to vote.
What hypocrisy, when pols are taking away the rights of young people to buy cigarettes or smoke pot by increasing the legal age to 21. Those 16-year-old voters won’t be able to join the military, get a tattoo, buy a drink, rent a car or even drive one without a grownup beside them.
So stay in school, kids and learn about American history first. Then when you’re 18, you can vote your hearts out.
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