Following recent student-led protests in the nation’s capital and across the nation, local D.C. lawmakers are pushing a plan to lower the district’s voting age to 16 in time for the 2020 presidential election.
According to proponents of the initiative, a majority of D.C.’s council members have already expressed support.
The proposed legislation was introduced by Democratic Ward 6 councilman Charles Allen, who explained his position was influenced by the ‘March for Our Lives‘ demonstration following February’s mass school shooting in Florida.
One sophomore at Woodrow Wilson High School explained why she is a vocal advocate.
“We work, we pay taxes, we care for family members, we can drive, we can do so many other things,” she said. “So, adding voting onto that isn’t going to be that big of a responsibility. We can handle it.”
Young adults made similar arguments, specifically invoking the fact that they were eligible for the Vietnam-era military draft, in petitioning lawmakers to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 with the 26th Amendment.
Some municipalities have further extended voting rights to include younger citizens in local elections. If successful, the D.C. proposal would be the first to allow voting in a presidential election by those under 18.