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It’s time to consider lowering the voting age

To the editor:

The voting age is a topic that has received national attention over the last few years. However, that has not translated into a push to lower the voting age in Iowa. I think it should.

I interviewed Iowa senators Tim Kraayenbrink and Janet Petersen to get their opinions on this matter.

Senator Tim Kraayenbrink was opposed to the idea, stating, “As far as just blanketing, saying we’re going to lower the voting age to 16, I am not in favor of that. … I do think that in order to vote you should have civic classes.”

However, Senator Janet Petersen supports lowering the voting age to 16, saying, “I think teenagers are much wiser than they’re given credit for … having younger people weigh in on the democratic process is important.”

While both sides provided quality arguments, I believe it is time to consider lowering the voting age.

Studies from psychologist Laurence Steinberg shows that 16-year-olds are able to make rational decisions when given ample time to process information. Furthermore, research from Vote16USA concludes that lowering the voting age would increase political participation. To contribute to the strength of American democracy, we should consider lowering the voting age.

Nathan Rethwisch

Fort Dodge