Councilors back effort to lower the voting age to 16

The Boston City Council approved a resolution today to support a proposed state law that would let cities and towns lower their minimum voting ages in city elections from 18 to 16.

Councilor Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill) and Kim Janey (Roxbury) say it's time for the proposed law, now in the House.

"They're old enough to drive, to work, to pay taxes," Janey said, noting that former councilor Ayanna Pressley has introduced similar legislation for federal elections. She added it's only fair that young people in Boston schools be allowed to have some say in picking leaders who will determine the future of those schools.



Free tagging: 



but not enough to smoke?

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Can we make up our fucking minds about what the real "adult age" is?

If its voting its 16
If its drinking its 21
If its smoking it was 18, but now its 21
If its buying pot. its 18
If you want to drive, its 16
If you want to serve its 18

PICK A GOD DAMN AGE AND STICK TO IT. You can't pick and choose what you want to apply or not to a soon to be adult. It has to be all or nothing. But no, we keep having these conversations about an age for each activity.

"They're old enough to drive, to work, to pay taxes,"

but not enough to smoke. buy booze, buy pot, or serve in the military *SMH*



To buy a beer at TD Garden

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I think it's at least 25+ if you have an out of state ID to buy a beer at TD garen

Also, I think 21 is the actual legal age to buy marijuana, but who really knows because there are still no freakin stores open within I-95 (possibly not even within the I-495 belt).


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Be a dependent until 26 (health insurance)
What is age minimum to rent a car these days - 23? 25? (Not talking about law, but about restrictions most of the major rental companies used to have)
Get a credit card - 17?

Younger than 16 can also be paying taxes, though it's probably rare that any parent files somebody that young separately from the family.

Is there even such a thing as "reaching the age of majority" (21) anymore?


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They're all different things. If, indeed, they are all things that should be age-restricted (not a debate I mean to get into), it's possible that they're age-restricted for different reasons, and different ages make sense.

another year of high school

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how did these city councilors get elected...didnt they just say high school should be extended a year for individuals to develop and mature give them a better chance, they are so in a paper bag


Maybe they need the increased

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Maybe they need the increased exposure to school buses , the next explanation to why the busing was not to blame for the dilution of the city educational system.


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You aren't old enough to drive at 16. Amazing that a City Councilor wouldn't know that.


Yes and No

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You are old enough to take Driver's Ed and get a permit to drive. You can get your license at 16 and a half with Driver's Ed.

yes, so

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At 16, you aren't allowed to get your license. Which is what I said.

this is moronic and pandering

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Have you talked to a 16 year old recently? These kids can barely get themselves out of bed and you want them to vote?

This is idiotic. The age should actually be RAISED to 21.



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I will give you that it is pandering... they only would be able to vote in city elections (and state ones if it passes that far)

It would make for a VERY messy ballot system..


Not for long

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Ayanna Pressley introduced legislation to allow 16 year olds to vote in federal elections as well!


She refused to allow a foreign government to dictate the terms of debate as a fascist litmus test.

You need to read more widely and far more critically about the central issue in that refusal. Legislators were essentially asked to sign a loyalty oath to a foreign government that was cloaked in the logical fallacy of false equivalence. That doesn't sound like a good idea to me in the least.


Oh stop

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She's lost my respect.

Did she ever have your respect, or are you just one of those trolls who gets a big sanctimoniousness boner over having additional (albeit weak) reasons to declare that you will not be supporting someone in the future whom you have never supported in the past?

Idiocy isn't confined to

Idiocy isn't confined to certain age brackets (there is lots of evidence in the comments on this site to support that). The more people who can vote, the better.


Blame Reagan

for raising the minimum alcohol purchase age. Wasn't 18 the MAPA in Massachusetts from 1972-1984 (genuinely asking; that was before my time).

For 16+ citizens who work, emancipated minors, and ward's of the state: I say LET THEM VOTE. It'd do a lot for their civics education if they could use their voice and cast their votes on issues pertaining to their lives.


My sons are adults. I do not want them to be legally infantilized and legally required to live at home because some ninny moron is having a moral panic.

Note that the Constitution says you can serve in Congress at age 25.

Next question?


What does that have to do with anything?

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Anyone who works full time should be covered under their employer or single payer.

These young adults make your insurance cheaper, actually. Their parents pay the higher family rates for someone who uses very little care.

Still don't get why this means that you think people should be forced to live at home (can't get loans, can't sign leases, can't function independently) after age 18.

Baffling stupidity.

Funds had to come up with

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Funds had to come up with more dough to cover additions , it costs those that are covered , increasing policy payments.


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Are they still on your health insurance? Maybe that should be the test - you can vote when you get your own health insurance? (that Obamacare rule is RIDICULOUS! - Granted most of our health care system is ridiculous - so par for the course)

Health Insurance

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Fine then. Single payer and medicare for all it is!

WRONG, You are confusing

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WRONG, You are confusing rights and responsibilities, the money tree has no more leaves.

How about civic education instead?

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Civic education needs to be added back into the curriculum. Setting the voting age at 16 isn't going to help our damaged democracy. Let's focus on getting voter registration and turnout up among the already eligible, and fighting voter repression.


Might be time for a review --

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Might be time for a review -- literally had to explain to a couple of my MA-bred-and-born coworkers why the Democrats in the House couldn't unilaterally reopen the Gov a couple months ago, including a quick-and-dirty breakdown of the whole general structure of the federal government. It was kind of scary.

It's not working

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As someone who has worked for ten years with high school juniors on a program that focuses on civic education, I can assure you that the knowledge base just is not there. Basic information on their community's form of government, who local elected officials are, how elections work - all lacking.

It's happening

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Civics education is happening, but I believe so far it's an initiative of individual school districts or schools. Still, a lot of people do see the need for it. Are you involved with your local schools?

If you're not mature enough

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If you're not mature enough to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or own a gun, you're not mature enough to vote.


How long before teacher's offering extra credit to vote (Dem)?

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With the loosening of any semblance of standards on who registers and who votes, how long before "extra credit" is offered to any sophomore, junior or senior (and the proposed 13th grade) who uses his/her cellphone to instantly register to vote, then requests an absentee ballot to vote Democrat in front of the teacher?

Zakim and Janey (who?) should be careful what they wish for as the teacher's union will forever have them over a barrel. One or two schools in the right teacher's hands could sway a low turnout election since most of the kids will be in school and vote the way they're told. You could have a 10% turnout of regular voters and 90% turnout of BPS kids. Don't forget that AOC, the putative leader of the Democrat party, won by just 4000 votes and that's Congress. You could swing a council race with 400 or less. BTU should hold off on any contract negotiations until this thing passes and they control the elections. Huge teacher pay raises or else!


You missed some important things too....I’ll help.

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How many elections around the country mysteriously “found” uncounted ballots after the fact?

I believe it was 14 (last time I saw anyway)

After the missing votes were tallied, how many Republicans took the lead over their Democrat counterparts?

Pretty sure it was zero.

But please, make more witty comments about nursing home residents.


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You didn't see the (at minimum) 14 elections where Democrats magically took the lead over Republicans after "uncounted" ballots appeared?

Where have you been?

They are that desperate?

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No; the voting age most certainly should not be lowered to the age our laws consider to be an un-emancipated child.

And if this should pass, lower the drinking age back down to 18.

In the Massachusetts criminal

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In the Massachusetts criminal justice system, the age you are considered, and can be charged with a crime as an adult is 18. This was raised in recent years, and efforts continued to be pushed to further raise the age to 21. Proponents of raising the ceiling of juvenile law cite scientific studies showing the brain does not fully mature until the early 20’s.

That being said, it would seem that the same politicians that are pushing for raising the age to be charged as an adult are now pushing to lower the age to vote.

Without picking a side or delving into the deep divide of the political realities of the day, doesn’t this seem contradictory? I would propose that mature decisions are equally important for both of my aforementioned topics.



Pressley suggests that paying taxes is the precursor to voting. Slippery slope Ayanna. The flip side is not paying taxes takes away the right to vote. I'm sure your supporters are OVER represented in the group that contributes nothing to the state and city budgets.

I for one...

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Was a complete asshat at 16. That was 2006, and based on the evolution of social media and apps like Snapchat since then, things have gone downhill considerably.