DC Introduces Legislation To Lower Age Limit For Kids Wanting To Vote For President


It’s become clear lately in the age of Trump that there is not an age limit when it comes to taking a stand against the administration’s oppressive policies. In that light, students across the country have taken on the responsibility of advocating for common sense gun control in the aftermath of the horrifying mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year.

It’s not as though the president rushed to support measures meant to keep such atrocities from recurring; student activists, on the other hand, were able to see through changes in policy like Florida raising the age limit to buy firearms to 21.

Now, student activists could see another positive effect of their work and get the right to vote in the nation’s capital if they are at least 16 years old come the 2020 presidential election. Last Tuesday, Democratic member of the D.C. Council Charles Allen introduced such a measure and drew an explicit connection to the advocacy work of American young people; it was just recently, on March 27, that the March for Our Lives took place in Washington, D.C., attracting large numbers of people for the cause of advocating for common sense gun control.

The D.C. voting age change measure’s proponents claim to already have the support of seven of the 13 members of the D.C. council, and they are aiming to have a public hearing on their proposal in June followed by a public hearing before the end of the year.

The nation’s capital is, of course, a staunchly Democratic jurisdiction, and as of 2017, just under 700,000 people lived there.

Commenting on the development, senior at the D.C. School Without Walls Alisha Chopra commented:

‘I think people are getting excited about this, especially with what’s going on in the nation right now in terms of youth leading social change. So I think that people are going to be very excited about it and want to get on board.’

Certainly not everyone is excited about the potential for young people to enact political change. Some, like Fox News host Laura Ingraham, have taken to cyberbullying to vent their frustrations with the Parkland survivors, many of whom have unsurprisingly taken to pushing for common sense gun control. After all, they experienced 17 people at their school getting murdered via gunfire.

Even still, the student activists who have made their way to the front of the national political conversation lately and prompted the potential voting age change in D.C. have been able to accomplish meaningful change through such means as the already mentioned shift in Florida gun laws.

That change attracted a legal challenge from the National Rifle Association, which has maintained its opposition to gun control advocacy efforts at every turn.

Although D.C. is, of course, just one jurisdiction, a change in voting laws there could in theory affect a change in voting laws across the nation eventually. Other important changes, such as the legalization of gay marriage, began in localized jurisdictions before being enacted across the county. Only states can change the voting age for the presidential election within their borders, and in this case, the District of Columbia is treated as a state.

Featured Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images