The council members of politically active and liberal Takoma Park, Md., voted 6-1 on Monday in favor of allowing 16-year-olds to vote in city elections.
“It’s a small place and we’re trying to make it possible for more people to part of our city government,” said Councilman Tim Male.
During an April 8th hearing regarding the measure, many young residents expressed their eagerness to become active voters within the community.
Many of the town’s 18-year-olds, who said the town is highly political, would have voted at a younger age if they had been given the chance.
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“If I had been voting when I was 16, I would have had two more years to be active in the community,” says Julianna Jimreivat, 18.
The measure also allows convicted felons who have served their time to vote.
Some parents at the April meeting argued against the measure, saying that teenagers lack experience and maturity in matters as serious as voting.
Coincilman Seth Grimes also disagreed with the measure, fearing that parents would influence their children’s’ decision. He suggested adding the measure to the ballot for a vote.
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“I just don’t buy it.” Grimes said.
The law will take effect in 50 days.