In the last few decades, we’ve learned a great deal about the human brain and how it develops. Researchers generally agree that the brain is still developing until the mid-20s, with skills such as moral reasoning coming later than we once thought.
With this new research in mind, many states have raised the age at which teens are allowed to do certain things, not lowered it. The drinking age has been raised from 18 to 21. And the age to drive a car without any conditions has increased from 16 to 17 or 18 in most states.
People in favor of allowing younger teens to vote say that it would increase overall turnout in U.S. elections. But that’s unlikely. Traditionally, young Americans are far less likely to cast ballots than their older counterparts.
We don’t allow 16-year-olds to join the military or serve on juries. Nor should we allow them to vote. After all, voting is one of our most important civic duties. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The Hoover Institution at Stanford University