The ages at which Americans are allowed to engage in certain activities is a scattershot reminder of the terrible inefficiency of our federal government.
At the ripe old age of 18, Americans are allowed to take their lives into their hands, either through military service or the purchase of cancer-causing tobacco products. It isn’t until 21 that they are able to purchase recreational agents such as alcohol or marijuana, (where legal). At 16, they can swerve through highway traffic on a motorcycle.
It is at 18 that they can vote, but that may soon be changing in San Francisco.
San Francisco residents will cast ballots in November to determine not just who should be in the White House but also whether 16- and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in local elections.
A similar measure introduced in 2016 narrowly failed, with 48 percent of the vote, but local activists and organizers are confident that it will pass this time.
“I really think that Vote 16 will help youth of color in San Francisco establish the habit of voting at an earlier age and really provide them with the support and the resources that they need to continue building on that habit as they grow older,” said Crystal Chan, 18, an organizer for Vote 16 SF who fought to get the measure on the ballot.
If the proposition passes, San Francisco would become the first major American city to give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in municipal elections.
Of course, the initial boon here would be to the Democrats who have often rely on younger demographics to pad their base.
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