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Oregon to consider plan to lower voting age to 16

The Statesman Journal reports that several state lawmakers are introducing a bill that would ask voters to amend the Oregon Constitution to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 years old.

Posted: Feb. 19, 2019 10:35 AM
Updated: Feb. 19, 2019 6:08 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Sixteen-year-olds could vote in Oregon, under a plan unveiled in the Legislature.

The Statesman Journal reports that several state lawmakers are introducing a bill that would ask voters to amend the Oregon Constitution to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 years old.

If the bill passes, the question would go to voters in the 2020 general election. The proposal would make Oregon the first in the nation to lower the statewide voting age to 16 years old.

"I'm not sure that my 16-year-old would even think that he would be ready to vote," parent Dove Hassan said. "There are some 16-year-olds that I think would be terrific voters, but by and large, my take is that 16-year-olds don't have the awareness of what's going on to make informed decisions."

KEZI 9 News also spoke with high school student Hunter Sutton, who said he doesn't think this is a good idea.

"I think 18 is a good age, and I think that's about as knowledgeable as one should be by that age, and I just think 16 is too young," Sutton said.

The bill is backed by the Bus Project, a nonprofit organization that encourages volunteer civic activism in Oregon.

Thirteen other states, including Washington, have introduced bills since 2003 to lower the voting age, some for just school board elections and some for all state elections. None have passed.

Let us know what you think about the proposal in our poll:

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