Public News Service: Some Maryland Communities Lowering Voting Age to 16
Alyssa Canty, director of youth programs for Common Cause, said young people are often beginning to see the effects of civic policy.
"When they're 16- or 17-year-olds, they are starting their first part-time jobs," Canty pointed out. "So they now have income, so they're purchasing things, so they are paying sales tax, but they have no say in what happens to those tax dollars."
Canty sees late high school as a good time to engage young people.
"Usually around 16, 17 years old, that junior, senior year of high school, that's also when you take your really in-depth civics class, and you learn about how the government works," Canty explained. "It's almost like experimental learning where you get to actually go and cast a ballot."
Canty noted as campaigns have spread across the country, they often see young people taking the lead on the issue.
"We have seen where young people are energized by this issue," Canty pointed out. "In many places, they're the ones that are on the forefront leading this work because they see themselves as being really impacted by local elections, by their school boards, by their city councils."