Gen Z's next battleground: lowering the voting age
Washington, D.C. is on the verge of becoming the first major U.S. city to allow people as young as 16 to vote in local and federal elections, including for president — under a proposal that has gotten support from a majority of the District’s council and the mayor.
Why it matters: Lowering the voting age to 16 from 18 is a direct attempt to capitalize on the post-millennial generation’s brewing political activism and power that have been radically heightened by the country’s increasingly polarized climate.
What they’re saying:
- Councilmember Charles Allen, a Democrat who introduced the bill last week, said lowering in a statement that the act would spur civic engagement:
- “We have no problem collecting taxes or fees from residents who are 16 and 17 – why shouldn’t we fully enfranchise them?”
- Scott Warren, executive director of the nonpartisan Generation Citizen, which advocates for youth participation in politics and one of the main architects behind the D.C. proposal, acknowledged that the effort is largely seen as partisan. But he stressed the fact that young Americans are increasingly registering as independent. "So we really see this as an effort to create long-term voter behavior," he said.
The other side: Opponents argue teenagers aren't mature enough to make informed decisions and have argue that it’s a partisan push to get more Democratic voters in the rolls.
Yes, but: Little data exists on the political views of Generation Z, which constitutes those born after 1996. William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, said attitudes toward diversity, culture and gun control offer a glimpse of their thinking.
The backdrop: Localities have been expanding voting rights to younger people since 2013 through campaigns supported by Generation Citizen. Warren told Axios his group is targeting cities in California, Colorado and Maryland.
No state has lowered the voting age, but some have passed legislation allowing teenagers to pre-register to vote, and participate in primary elections if they will turn 18 by the general election. Cities can only extend voting rights to local elections, but D.C., can allow people over 16 to vote in any election.
What’s next: A public hearing for the proposal is expected in June and a vote before the year ends.
Juiciest excerpts from new book on Hillary Clinton campaign
Amy Chozik's new book "Chasing Hillary" is already making news around town with new details about Hillary Clinton's campaign falling under the microscope in the days before its release.
Basket of deplorable tiers: Clinton commonly referred to Trump supporters as deplorables in three tiers, Chozik writes:
- “Basket #1: The Republicans who hated her and would vote Republican no matter who the nominee."
- "Basket #2: Voters whose jobs and livelihoods had disappeared..."
- "Basket #3: The Deplorables. This basket includes ‘the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it." (Daily Beast)
Joe Biden wanted to run for president but feared the Clintons would try and "destroy" him. Chozik writes “he added something like ‘You guys don’t understand these people.'" (Daily Beast)
Chozik blamed Clinton for ignoring media and not recognizing how Trump used journalists: “Trump understood our gluttonous short attention span better than anyone,” she wrote, “but especially better than Hillary.” (Washington Post)
Clinton knew she had a likability problem but Chozik said she "cut off" staff members who brought it to her attention. “You know, I am getting pretty tired of hearing about how nobody likes me." (Daily Beast)
"I Became an Unwitting Agent of Russian Intelligence" is the title of one of the chapters in the book where Chozik details her sympathy about the Clinton e-mail scandal story. (Washington Post)
What's next: The book detailing Clinton's campaign, her strategies and what happened after she lost the election will hit shelves on April 24.