Should 16-year-old children be permitted to vote?
A Cincinnati city councilman has voiced his support.
P.G. Sittenfeld tweeted Thursday, “We’ve had some constituents – of very different ages – ask about the (city of Cincinnati) changing the rules to allow 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections. I think it’s interesting – and I’d support it. We’re getting the analysis on whether doable from City Law Department.”
Sittenfeld added that it would be for municipal elections only, saying that Yellow Springs, Ohio, is already pursuing a similar measure.
Would it be feasible? Perhaps.
Three cities in Maryland allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections. Takoma Park, Maryland, was the first city to lower the voting age. Similarly, Berkeley, California, passed an ordinance to lower the voting age for school board elections to 16.
Several studies have been performed to determine the legal feasibility of municipal-level campaigns to lower the voting age for local elections in each state.
Cities can take action to lower their local voting age in some states, while the law prohibits this in other countries.
It would be feasible in the state of Ohio, according to this study from the National League of Cities, and would likely require some sort of charter amendment. The Ohio Constitution and election code grant the right to vote to those over 18 and do not explicitly prohibit those under 18 from voting.