Should Teens Be Able To Vote?


Gabriel Navarro

 The question “Should teenagers be able to vote?” has been floating around for years. People however, have not been taking this question seriously until now.  Should children be allowed to vote for our presidential elections? 


Lately, there have been movements  trying  to  allow kids to vote like the Guardian and Kids Vote USA. They bring up the fact that children have a voice because the government’s actions will influence their lives. Right now, they have no influence over what happens in the government.  Kids should have a voice in the government because it affects their lives.


 The right thing is rarely the best thing to do because of how catastrophic the damage could be if it were to go wrong. For instance, the human brain isn’t fully developed until 25 years old. Our brain handles our decision making, and without much experience, kids find it hard to make the right decisions. People who are older and have more experience and can actually relate to their past experiences to make the best decision. A child  is also very easily swayed into a direction by incentive. Parents or guardians might try to incentivize their children into voting for their side, causing the whole idea of Democracy to be ruined by children or teens. Politicians might also do the same thing like visiting schools or giving donations to certain schools to vote for him. Rishabh Krishna 7th grader said” Children are just too inexperienced with life problems like taxes and owning property to really know what they are voting for.” Children also don’t actually have an idea on what democracy and rights are enough to say their opinion. At Rio Norte instead of voting, we can convey our opinions. W;/””e can just say our opinions. There is really no point for a child to participate in an event like elections and actually register a vote. At Rio Norte we should just realize that we still have a voice in our school.

 Many students at Rio Norte thinks we should put more surveys or voting cards with our ID number on it to make school wide decisions. Maybe we can create a voting system at our school to satisfy student needs and wants. So should Children be able to vote, that’s up to your opinion, but personally the facts just don’t line up when  it comes to letting children vote.  Even though we shouldn’t vote we should still stand up for what we believe in, and never lose our views on the world. And I know that some of you are still unsatisfied with this but it’s for the better. Studies show that an average teen brain’s frontal lobe has not developed enough to make these decisions. The Frontal Lobe is the part of the brain that controls our thought or decision making.


When someone turns17 or 18 their frontal lobe is able to make decisions not on impulse, but by reason and logic. The University of Rochester Medical Center states,  “In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the Prefrontal Cortex the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences”. Adults think with more reasoning and thought so they have the thought process to be able to vote. Because they know the consequences and the positives that can happen because of who or what they vote for. The University of Rochester Medical Center also states “In teens’ brains the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing and not always at the same rate. That’s why when teens have overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking”. Teens or children don’t think from the prefrontal cortex there frontal lobe they focus more on emotions ,and that can blind some people from the truth.


 Our Junior High History teacher Mr. Sheridan commented that  “Young people are affected by crime, gun violence, and other social issues, but have no say in how these issues will be addressed by our representative government because they don’t get to choose those representatives.” He also stated that “I think there is no question that a 17 year old who will turn 18 prior to a general election should have the ability to vote in the primaries when they are 17; which would allow them to have a say in the choice of candidates they will have to vote for in the general election when they are 18.” I agree with Mr. Sheridan’s statement that we should allow 17 year olds to vote because they are mature enough to to drive and do many things. So yes I think they should be able to vote in the presidential elections. But anyone below, like children or teens, just don’t have the experience, the correct thinking process,or the responsibility to vote in these serious matters.