Above is the logo of the Common Cause national organization. They’ve recently signed on to supporting lowering the voting age to 16.
For the last several years, young people have been very vocal about expanding their political rights. In an era marked by school violence, racial inequality and a pandemic in the last few years, the push to expand the democratic base by lowering the voting age to 16 has been gaining momentum- and there just might be a way to make that happen through House Joint Resolution 23.
While the issue is not new, debate on it has become more prevalent lately due to recent blue waves in politics and vocal supporters of lowering the voting age. With the emergence of more younger activists who tie in the issue with other issues that they are trying to address, more people are gaining familiarity with the reasons for supporting the move. As of this year, we once again have a bill in Congress to address that- House Joint Resolution 23 (H J Res 23).
Several organizations have been working on this for years, such as NYRA and Vote16USA. In the last few years, even Rock the Vote has signed onto supporting the idea. Other groups like March 4 Our Lives and many climate activists have also done so as well, with many other groups following in their footsteps. Now, Common Cause has joined that list of supporters.
Several branches of Common Cause have already been supporting lowering the voting age to 16 in the last few years, but it has only been until recently that its national component has endorsed the idea. With H. J. Res 23 still waiting for a vote, this is an opportune time for many organizations that have endorsed the idea to make it happen by collaborating on one “common cause”- to enfranchise the next generation of voters so they can better address issues relevant to them.
It is important to note that even with all this support from so many groups, passing H J Res 23 won’t be automatic. People who actively support it, from their own individual initiatives to getting the supportive advocacy of their respective organizations, will be needed if the bill is to be passed once it comes up for a vote. A little coalition building is also necessary beforehand. The latter is what supporters should be doing now- connecting and building further momentum to make sure that H J Res 23 is passed.