Thursday, March 11, 2010

17 Year-Olds May Soon Get To Vote!

Posted by: Noel Jones

Every once in a while I remind readers that there is another great blog in the area call Lehigh Valley Ramblings, created and hosted by Bernie O'Hare, that unlike our blog, which is more locally-focused, covers politics across the entire Lehigh Valley, as well as at the state level. His blog is linked on the top right side bar of this home page, and I recommend checking in on it often to keep up with county and state politics. Below is an article on House Bill 259 calling for 17 year-olds to have the right to vote in the primaries, as long as they turn 18 by the general election. I'm all for it--with a 6-8% registered voter turnout average for local elections, if the adults of our town have grown apathetic and cynical, and the kids are motivated to be civically engaged and vote, I say let them have at it!

Bernie O'Hare's Lehigh Valley Ramblings Article on Rep. Grucela's Push to Let 17-Year Olds Vote

How do you feel about 17 year-olds voting? About time? Scary/dangerous? Will it make a difference?


Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks Noel

Sandra Walters Weiss said...

Yes,Noel Bernie has a wonderful site where he keeps track of all the local political action.It has information that is crucial to gaining an understanding of the local and State political machine.I know Bernie and not only is he outspoken but not afraid to say what is on his mind and frequently calls people to task.He is undoubtedly my favorite equal opportunity offender. Whether you love him or hate him he runs a great blog and I for one make it a daily"habit"So if you want to have a real idea of what exactly is going on in the Lehigh Valley check out the site.Another person on my list of unsung heroes!!!

g_whiz said...

I think its an outstanding idea. One of the ways I think our treatment of young adulthood seems out of place is how 18 year olds can vote, drive and die for their country but not drink until 3 years later. Is the presumption that 21 year olds are more mature? Having been there, I find that a dubious assumption.

Beyond this, I think the earlier we can get kids involved in the civic process the better. The voter turn out in the last Presidental election was leaps and bounds better than its been in the recent past, and I only see this trend continuing. Interesting post.

Sandra Walters Weiss said...

Both of my children got their driver's license at the age of 17 and I agree the earlier our children get to learn about politics the better.Obviously then we may see a new generation of perhaps younger legislative candidates.In the last Presidential election I worked the polls and witnessed a younger group and more first time voters than ever.And I think it instills a sense of commitment and validates their opinion that yes,it is your inalienable right to choose who you want.Both my children were both scared and excited the first time they were allowed to vote,They are both grown so it was"Pull the Lever" not the touch screen of today but I can still see the big smile as they pulled back the curtain and looked to me as if "hey Mom,I did it".That empowers folks so I say why not, with voter apathy at an all time high..Rock the vote!!!

David Caines said...

What most worries me here is that we are talking about potential voters who are still in HS, still for lack of better terms wards of the state and as such more likely to vote along the lines of whoever happens to be in power at the time.There is simply no way that they aren't going to be more influenced by teachers, school policies, etc...than those who have had even a summer away from school and the direct influence of "Adults" who probably have political agendas of thier own to inflict upon a captive audience.
G-whiz..., yeah that's kind of a stinker I got an article 15 for buying beer for some eighteen year old platoon mates. Mostly the practice is ignored but our CO was one of those AA cult freaks.
As to voting at 17 though, the difference between HS senior and HS grad is huge, it's the difference between being adult/ free (and legally resposible for your actions) and being the schools responsability/the states responsability. There is just no way I can support this...period.

noel jones said...

David~I see your point but still have to respectfully disagree--teens love to do what their parents don't, and so are likely to vote independently. Case in point--in New York my friend Camille was a passionate Hillary supporter, while her 17 year-old son Daniel had Obama signs up in the windows of his bedroom well before the primaries, and he did everything in his power to convince anyone of voting age to vote for Obama. That's an example from a liberal family--a conservative example would be Ron Paul--he had very passionate and vocal support among Republican youth, even though many of these kids' parents supported McCain.

I think teenagers enjoy thinking independently, and in this case, we're talking about 17-year olds who will be 18 by the general election--this law would be to let these teens vote in the related primary.