Michigan to consider allowing 16-year-olds to vote

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — A pair of state lawmakers wants to make Michigan the first state to allow 16-year-olds to vote in state elections.

Rep. Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor and Sen. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights introduced bills Tuesday that would lower the state voting age to 16.

The two Democrats say it would provide a chance for more young people to get involved in the political process.

“Young people have earned and deserve a voice in our political process,” Sen. David Knezek said in a press release. “In a society that is deeply fractured by ignorance and close-mindedness toward others, their voices deserve a vote.”

While younger voters typically have the lowest election turnout rates, the lawmakers say youth who accompany their parents to a polling place are more likely to vote.

“If a 16-year-old can get behind the wheel and pay taxes from their paycheck, they are also mature enough to decide how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent,” Rabhi said in the same release. “Otherwise, it’s taxation without representation.”

Both House Bill 6183 and Senate Bill 1064 were referred to their respective election committees.

The original version of this story was first posted on WLNS.com.

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