Poll: Americans overwhelmingly reject lowering voting age to 16

An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the idea of granting voting rights to citizens younger than 18, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released on Thursday.

The survey found that 75 percent of registered voters opposed allowing 17-year-olds to participate in elections. An even larger number, 84 percent, opposed allowing 16-year-olds to vote.

Every age group in the poll was against lowering the voting age to 16 or 17, though younger respondents were more supportive than older participants.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents under the age of 35 were in favor of allowing 17-year-olds to vote, compared with 13 percent of those 65 and older who felt the same way.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents between 18 and 34 supported granting voting rights to 16-year-olds, while only 5 percent of those 65 and older agreed.

The survey also found that Republicans were more likely than Democrats to be opposed to voting rights for people younger than 18.

Eighty-eight percent of GOP respondents said that 17-year-olds should not be allowed to vote, and 89 percent opposed letting 16-year-olds vote.

Among Democrats, 65 percent said 17-year-olds should not be allowed to vote, with 78 percent saying the same about 16-year-olds.

Among independent voters, 74 percent said they opposed lowering the voting age by one year, while 26 supported the idea. Letting 16-year-olds participate in elections received even less support, with only 16 percent backing the proposal.

Lowering the voting age has been discussed recently after long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew YangAndrew YangIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Hillicon Valley: Facebook permanently shifting thousands of jobs to remote work | Congressional action on driverless cars hits speed bump during pandemic | Republicans grill TikTok over data privacy concerns The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit MORE made decreasing the federal voting age to 16 one of his campaign positions, arguing that doing so would increase turnout, promote civic engagement and let young people have a say in their own future. Yang is the first presidential candidate to openly support the idea.

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyWarren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor Democrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Pentagon memo warns pandemic could go until summer 2021 | Watchdog finds Taliban violence is high despite US deal | Progressive Dems demand defense cuts MORE (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment in March to lower to the voting age to 16. The measure garnered 126 votes, falling short of the majority needed to advance. But Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat MORE (D-Calif.) voiced her support for the change.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online April 27-28 among a statistically representative panel of 1,002 voters. It has a 3.1 percentage point sampling margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level.

—Philip Wang