In 1971, the government lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. But, were they off by a year? That’s the very question some political scientists are now raising after studies show a steady decline in voting since then.
So here’s the deal: Studies prove that when someone leaves the household and becomes independent before a habit is introduced, it tends to lead to fewer follow-throughs when that habit is introduced. In this case, that means if a person starts voting while they’re still living at home, they’re more likely to do it later, after they leave.
At the same time, political scientists also found that a 16-year-old has as much political knowledge as a 21-year-old. So why not just lower that voting age by like, a year? What could possibly go wrong?
Oh, wait, you mean that sometimes people make mistakes at 17 that they later regret? No way!
Well, to parse all of this, we present to you Fusion’s Tina Santomauro, who reflects on her own xperiences as a 17-year-old, and how they equipped her to vote. Teens, man!