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Youth Enfranchisement & #16ToVote in 2021

Nancy Pelosi once again takes the Speaker of the House Office oath after her recent narrow victory. This might also be her last term as Speaker of the House as well.

It’s a new year again, which means another year to keep fighting for youth rights and continued enfranchisement.

Even with a new calendar year, there are still challenges that need to be overcome. We’re still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and have only started to begin addressing the issue. It will likely be another year or even more before it will be safe to be able to travel again.

At the same time, we also have a new administration that will be able to enact policy that will hopefully see the enfranchisement of more youth. In one town hall almost two years ago, then presidential candidate and now future Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the idea of lowering the voting age to 16, saying that it should be a discussion to be looked at and have. This town hall occurred just one month after Ayanna Pressley had introduced a bill to the House that failed to pass but still received bipartisan support.

In other relevant news, Nancy Pelosi also narrowly maintains her role as Speaker of the House. However, this may just be her last stint at the position, meaning that unless the next Speaker of the House is also suffrage-friendly towards youth, our working timetable to get anything appreciably done might be in the next two years- this year and next year.

As a supporter of lowering the voting age and enfranchising more youth, both in the United States and elsewhere, I call on all allies of any form of suffrage to take advantage of this window and consider how we can work together too to make sure that we can make some gains within the next two years.

What the allies of youth suffrage might accomplish between now and the end of next year might determine whether or not we will lower the voting age any time soon or have to wait for some of our youngest supporters to get into office themselves many years down the road before we can get another decent opportunity to do so again.

-Jеstеr Jеrsеy


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