Why we should raise the voting age in NJ (Opinion)
Currently in this country, you’ve got to be 18 to vote. There used to be a very good reason for that. The reason was that at 18, people were considered adults. Today, not so much.
Even though legally 18-year-olds are adults, emotionally, they are not the 18-year-olds from generations ago. Here in New Jersey, 16- and 17-year-olds would be able to serve as election workers under new legislation moving through the state Senate.
The theory is that if we get kids politically involved then maybe, as has been done in other states, eventually we can lower the voting age to 16. Lowering the voting age makes sense to Democrats because it increases the Democratic voter base. Let’s face it: 16-year-olds generally are not voting Republican. I have the opposite idea.
How about we change the voting age to older? Like 25? That’s an age at which people really have more responsibility and life experience today. In the olden days, an 18-year-old was considered an adult because he was done with school and for the most part had to make a living, live on his own, and make real-life decisions. At 18 in this country, in this day and age, you still have the risk of voting for emotional reasons; for looks, for “feelings,” for acceptance or for misunderstood ideology.
We haven’t seen 18-year-olds that are truly adults (in every sense of the word) in a few generations now. And I think, in order to vote, to really influence the choices that affect public policy, you should really be an adult in this country. Have a mortgage, have some debt, some bills, maybe some kids, some real life experience under your belt. A voter should be an adult — in the strictest sense of the word. And that doesn’t happen at the age of 18 in this country ... like it or not.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.