These 16-Year-Olds Are Campaigning for the Right to Vote

Vote16DC is working to lower the voting age in D.C. to 16.

“Vote16DC is a campaign for young people led by young people to lower the voting age to 16 years old,” explained one of the group’s youth leaders Alik Schier. “We have a stake in the district. We have a stake in the country.”

Four other U.S. cities have lowered their voting age to 16, though they only lowered them for local or school board elections. If passed, the group’s D.C. bill will lower the voting age for federal elections, too.

“I think 16 and 17-year-olds should be able to vote in this country period,” explained D.C. councilmember Charles Allen. “I don’t think they should be allowed to vote for some races but not the other. I think that voting is not a half measure. You either believe people can vote or you don’t. And I believe that they should. So I want people to vote up and down the ticket.”

Dozens of witnesses testified in support of the bill at a June 27 hearing, and the group members are eager to see if it will be passed into law.

“Who is more informed about what’s going on in school than the students?” asked another youth leader QueSton Bell. “Who’s more informed about what’s going on in our neighborhoods than the people who live in the neighborhoods?”