Vote 16 campaign works to help teens vote

Maya Brisan, Staff Writer

The Vote16 campaign is a movement that wants to lower the voting age to 16 so that 16 and 17 year olds are able to vote. The official website of the Vote16 campaign in the United States is, and it outlines different campaigns, members and other ways to take action. The website explains efforts in specific cities, how to support the organization and other helpful resources.

Another local political organization is Next Up Oregon, which has multiple initiatives in Oregon, including the Vote16 campaign.

“NextUp Oregon has been crucial to Oregon’s history with voting rights,” said Aishiki Nag, junior at Tigard High School and a member of NextUp’s Youth. “Since 2007 they have championed youth voice and civic engagement in their platform. These efforts have made Oregon the easiest state to vote in, with 90.2 percent of the state registered to vote.”

An argument in favor of lowering the voting age is that starting to vote at 16 or 17 will make voting more of a habit, creating lifelong voters that will increase the voting rate in the United States. Countries who have lowered the voting age see higher turn-out rates for first-time voters, according to Vote16USA

“Personally, I think it’s the natural step to go forward. 16 and 17 year olds are more capable to vote,” Nag said. “Firstly, 16-17 year olds can get a job, pay taxes, drive, enroll for the military, get tried as adults in court, make life changing decisions about college and other important decisions that people who can vote can make.”

Other people argue that lowering the voting age may be beneficial for the general public.

“I feel like lowering the voting age is a necessary step in order for not just younger people but working class people to have a bigger influence in politics,” said Ale Gutierrez De Nova, a senior at Tualatin High School.

Despite these arguments in favor of the change, some disagree with the idea of lowering the voting age because they believe that it could have negative impacts on the political system.

“I believe there’s a couple reasons not to lower the voting age, such as how it could negatively affect who politicians focus on,” said Luis Felix, a senior at TuHS. “[The second] reason is that young teenagers might take voting not in a serious manner, which I believe is quite a strong reason not to allow them to vote.”