Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote?

What do you think the voting age should be?

It is currently 18 years old, the same age one becomes a legal adult in almost every state.

Some Sacred Heart students believe the voting age has been appropriately set at 18, with no need to lower it.

“I think that if you’re considered an adult at 18, you should be able to vote as well,” said freshman Jacob Carlson.

“I think the voting age should stay at 18 as that is the age we are legally considered to be adults,” said senior Hailey Pinto. “We should be able to have a say in the type of world we want to live in.”

“It should stay 18 because at that point you’re a legal adult,” said junior Victoria Piacentino.

While most students agree the voting age should stay at 18, some understand the appeal of raising it to 21.

“I’m debating between staying or raising,” said sophomore Tara Kelly. “I think it’s unfair that you are allowed to vote at 18 but aren’t allowed to do most things until you’re 21. They say your brain isn’t fully developed until 21, so why should people be allowed to vote for a president, which is an extremely important decision?”

The 26th Amendment, ratified in July 1971, officially lowered the national voting age from 21 years old to 18 years old. The movement for this action began during World War II, with the notion, “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” according to the Richard Nixon Library.

Some students share the same belief in that notion today.

“I think it should stay the same age as how old you are to enlist in the army because if you can serve, you should have a say in those decisions,” said senior Celia Ponto.

“I am of the belief that if we’re old enough to drive, old enough to have jobs and old enough to enlist in the military, then we are old enough to vote,” said junior Ashley Czermak, President of PioneerVote. “Personally, I believe having the voting age set at age 18 is perfect.”

Some students say that younger people are more impressionable to having their voting ideas swayed by social media.

“I think social media does have an effect on voting because people post a lot of false bias information that influences people’s voting,” said freshman Madison Conklin. “If younger people see it, they believe everything and anything.”

“Because of the presence of social media, everyone has access to political information,” said Piacentino. “I still don’t think it should be lowered, though, because younger people can be influenced easily, and I don’t think they have the life experience to make those kinds of educated decisions.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, 57% of citizens ages 18-34 voted in the 2020 presidential election, up 8% from the previous election in 2016.

Although the percentage has increased, some students believe more people need to be voting.

“21 is too old because we need more voters to get out there,” said senior Ryan DiFronzo.

The university also believes in the need for more voters with PioneerVote, a student-led campaign that encourages students to utilize their right to vote. The organization seeks to increase the percentage of young voters and overall political engagement in the Sacred Heart community.

“The opportunity to vote is valuable and a privilege,” said Pinto.

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