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CON: Teens not mature enough to have voting privileges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. --  Voting is a very important part of American culture. It is the process where we elect people into government offices and entrust them to lead us correctly.

It is a pretty important decision, one that should require a lot of thought. That is why I believe the voting age should not be lowered.

Teenagers are impulsive, impressionable and quick to make decisions. We don't think things through as much as we should. Therefore, we shouldn't be entrusted, before we even reach adulthood, to make decisions that could affect our lives.

The current voting age is 18, the legal age of adulthood. At age 18, you are also allowed to smoke, have an independent checking account and sign legal documents, among other things. That's because at this point it is accepted that you know how to run your life and are capable of making important decisions.

Voting is considered an important decision, one that should require a lot of thought and consideration. Being a teenager myself and knowing most of my peers, I wouldn't trust any of us at our current ages to be capable of picking one of our leaders.

It is not because we're not good, capable people. I just don't think that at our age we are mature enough to take on this important decision, just as I don't think we are mature enough to get married or buy a house. Making these decisions -- life-changing decisions -- require a lot of thought, and most teenagers simply aren't ready to devote their minds to taking the time to make the right choice.

If we're being completely honest, I truly believe the voting age should be raised. Just because you are considered an adult at age 18 by the United States government doesn't necessarily mean that you act like one and that you are ready to make this decision.

In fact, I recommend raising the voting age to at least 21. By age 21, most people are in college and have had some experience living on their own. They know more about what it's like to take care of themselves and would be able to relate to the political issues being discussed by candidates, giving them insight on who the right decision is for them. By 21, you know a little bit more about life.

 This doesn't go for everyone, of course. By 18, some of us have probably seen more of life than we've really wanted to. However, I feel that going any younger with the entire teenage population is rather venturesome. It wouldn't be taken seriously enough, and then we could end up with a complete nut in office who doesn't know at all what they're doing.

I believe most people would agree that it's a risk we just can't afford to take.


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