In an obvious attempt to easily enact left-leaning policies, more than 12 House Democrats proposed an amendment to the Constitution that would lower the voting age in the United States from 18 years old to 16 years.
Democrats push to amend Constitution so 16-year-olds can vote https://t.co/sldTCBoA3H
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 13, 2023
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) and co-sponsored by 12 Democratic leaders, seeks to change the 26th Amendment that only allows citizens from 18 years to vote.
If successful, its new language would state, “the right of citizens of the United States, who are sixteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”
While Meng has not released a statement on her proposal as of the time of this writing, a statement she made in the last Congress indicated a belief that the U.S. should amend the Constitution to lower the voting age. This, she stated, would afford younger people a say on many issues Democrats are pushing for.
“Our young people, including 16- and 17-year-olds, continue to fight and advocate for so many issues that they are passionate about from gun safety to the climate crisis,” she said, adding that younger ones have been “tremendously engaged on policies affecting their lives and their futures.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – one of the supporters of a bill introduced last year to allow 16-and-17-year-olds to register as voters so they can vote as soon as they turn 18 – also spoke of the important role younger voters would play in supporting left-leaning moves.
“It’s our younger generation that will face the long-term consequences of our political challenges – like stymied action on climate change, gun violence, and reproductive rights. We need to defend their right to vote,” he said.
The Next Up Action Fund, an organization that backed Meng’s idea in the last Congress, stated that “16- and 17-year-olds are engaged, smart, and capable of casting informed votes…”
Another supporter Vote16USA put up a message on its site to say, “Lower the voting age, the planet depends on it.”
Have Dem's Lost It? Some Dem's want to create a Constitutional amendment to allow kids 16-y-o's to vote. Dem NY Rep. Grace Meng introduced legislation to eliminate 26th Amendment to Constitution which says U.S. citizens have to be minimum of 18 years old to vote. What's Up Next? https://t.co/uTH3dXdaqJ
— Church Security Institute (@ChurchSecurityI) January 15, 2023
While groups that supported Meng’s proposal liked the idea for its prospects to advance left-leaning causes, Democrats did not make a move on it when they were in charge of the last Congress. A total of 125 Democrats voted in favor of an amendment that would lower the voting age in the country.
However, that was not enough to get the proposal approved, as all but one Republican voted against it. A two-thirds vote in the Senate and in the House is required to amend the Constitution. If the Democrats manage to achieve that, the next step would be ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures.