Michigan Democrats propose lowering voting age to 16

click to enlarge STEPHANIE KENNER / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Stephanie Kenner / Shutterstock.com

Two state lawmakers argue that because kids can drive at age 16 in Michigan, they should be allowed to vote in state elections, too.

Rep. Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor and Sen. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights, both Democrats, introduced bills to both the House and Senate on Tuesday that call for lowering the state voting age to 16.

"If a 16-year-old can get behind the wheel and pay taxes from their paycheck, they are also mature enough to decide how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent," Rabhi said in a release. "Otherwise, it's taxation without representation."

As the Free Press reports, the change is a long shot, and "would also require a change in the federal and state constitutions, which would require a super majority in the House and the Senate, which is unlikely in the Republican-controlled state Legislature, and a vote of the people." The last time the voting age was changed was in 1971, when it was lowered from 21 to 18.

A wave of mass shootings at schools, including the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., have inspired young people to become engaged in politics — with the survivors becoming political figures and encouraging school walk-outs, boycotts, and other protest demonstrations in support of gun control.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.