Denial of service: Why can’t teenagers have the right to vote?
Every day all across America young people get home from school and after grabbing something from the refrigerator to snack on, head right back out the door. Most go to practice a sport or hang out with friends. However, an ever increasing number of them are heading off to work. Many of them will work 40 hour weeks.
These are the young people that wake early to go to school and face 6 to 8 hours of Math, Social Studies, English, and most likely some form of physical activity. Not to mention the inevitable social aspect high school and how draining that can be.
According to The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Division (http://www.bls.gov) the United States had in (2009) 3,676.000 workers that are under the age of 19yrs. It is estimated that nearly 2,000.000 are from the ages of 14 to 17. (In this study done by the Dept. of Labor only those that had retained employment for a significant period of time were included in the data.)
It seems that it is not just or fair that these young people contribute to our economy through their significant buying power, and contribution to the federal and state tax bases, yet they are not allowed to cast any meaningful votes.
According to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 “the Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color” However nothing is mentioned about the required age of a potential voter.
Sure, there are mock votes on countless teen websites but that would seem to well, ‘mock’ the teens that are producing a significant and meaningful portion of the work force in this country.
These young people exemplify exactly the kind of self sufficiency that will signify the future of our country. So why is it that their taxes are collected and potentially used for programs and resources that they have absolutely no say in?
There has been a push for voting rights of younger Americans by National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) especially in the 2000 election but it seems to have fallen to the wayside as of late. On the NYRA website they still list the talking points which seem to have much more meaning today then even in the 2000 elections.