Why the voting age should be raised

As the voting season fast approaches, Winthrop strongly encourages us to participate in this electoral event and be a part of our great economy. Like many, I was asked to fill out a registration card in our ACAD groups but upon closer analysis, I had no idea what I was voting for. They told us we needed to vote but didn’t equip us with any knowledge to do so. As I pondered over these things, knowing I was going to have to do some serious research before I could make anything close to an educated decision, I came to the idea that maybe I was too young to play a role in deciding the fate of my country. So, I did research on that instead. Through my exploration of the topic I found that this is often a widely controversial subject with points like, often from out of state, college students have a harder time applying to vote in unfamiliar areas. Studies showed that college students have almost no time to with how busy they can become to consider voting.

Biologically we are selfish in this early state of adulthood, and the mind doesn’t even fully develop until the age of 25. From my research, I concluded that the human brain is unexperienced and underdeveloped at the mere age of 18, and is ill-fit to make such a dire decision. According to the National center for educational statistics 17. 3 million undergraduate students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, yet millennials have the lowest turnout rate for votes. Young adults anywhere from 17 to 28 are commonly in college or just beginning a career. For those who end up attending college out of state or living on campus, it might end up being even more of a hassle. In Elizabeth Campbell’s article, she brings to light the extreme difficulties of being able to vote as a college student such as” States require voters to be residents before they can cast their ballots there, but each state has different rules and requirements. Some states require voters to show proof such as a utility bill, something students living in campus dorms wouldn’t have. Other states require an ID that includes an address, but many students have driver’s licenses from their hometown, not their college residence. ” The process of/ proof of residency and absentee ballot use voter identification which asks for things a student might not even have while living in dorms. As a student it sometime feels as though the odds are against us all together, making it hard to even want to participate.

While more states now require IDs at the polls, many don’t accept student IDs as a valid form,” Nine states never accept student IDs, and 22 others only accept them if the ID meets certain criteria such as including an address or expiration date, or the voter has additional documentation”, according to a News21 analysis, millennial-focused political news site. Politics tries this hard to ensure we don’t vote already, if they are so adamant on keeping us from voting they should ultimately just raise the age limit, not just dance around the problem like this. (Campbell, 2016)Not only is it just difficult for college students to vote, we hardly have the time or knowledge to do so. My entire issue was I knew nothing of the candidates, but I had no time to research it with classes, work, and mid-terms fast approaching. According to the National Survey of Student Engagement’s findings, the average college student has 15 to 18 credit hours, or hours spent in class. It’s common knowledge that for every hour we spend in class, we should spend 3 hours studying the material. ( Fosnacht, pg. 4, 2016) That’s nearly half a week of studying not including homework, eating, and sleep. Many times, throughout the week I considered registering to vote, but my time was quickly swept away by projects and assignments that took me hours to finish. One sunny afternoon I came across so time to try and register online, but when the link pulled up I had to fill out a lot of information, most that I couldn’t do on the fly

We know that millennials might not be ready to vote physically, but biologically even more so. Young adults lack the experience and physically cannot help our selfish decisions. It has been researched by David Warsh, a graduate from Harvard University, that millions of years ago, our genetics at this stage of life drove us to focus on our survival and means of reproduction, or “looking out for number one. ” Because we are in such an early stage of life in comparison to our lifespan now being of some 60 to 90 years, we have barely begun to experience things in life that fuel our growing minds. Yes, the country will one day be our, and it will be our responsibility to run it, but our founding fathers weren’t a bunch of 18-year-old college students scrambling around trying to figure out how to register, that’s why you have to be at least 25 to run for office. (Warsh, 2017).

Finally, and very simply, is that at the age of 18 the young adult brain is not yet done developing. In a study by Rochester university it states that the brain is not fully developed in young men and women until the age of 25. We even think with an entirely separate part of the brain, “Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. ” The prefrontal cortex is associated with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Young adults on the other hand think with the amygdala. This is the emotional part. Because of this, our decisions are thought up in a personal perspective “how is this affecting me?” rather than looking at the big picture of things. In the context of a nation you can see why this would be an issue, the ideas one adolescent might have could be enormously biased rather than thinking of the security of our country, and as we are told time and time again, “Every vote count”. The university of Rochester is a certified medical center and their article are revised by several medical doctors and nurses. (Shelat, 2018)

In contrast to my point, while researching I found that many economists believe that the age to vote should be lowered claiming that, despite being young, we need to be involved in the development of our country as a whole, instead of jumping in later in life. Being involved now would benefit us with the experience we don’t have now, but we need to be mature enough to make these important decisions for our nation. If we were to cast our votes in blind confidence with whoever we chose, we could very well doom or Country and our economy that the previous generation spent so much time and effort to hold together and build. Because our brains are not developed at our age college students are known for making mistakes that people believe we should have left behind after high school, but we are still too young for these things I for one want to be able to say that my decision was educated and helpful to the land I live in.

13 January 2020
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