Andrew Yang proposes lowering voting age to 16

Democratic presidential hopeful and entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events MORE on Wednesday proposed lowering the federal voting age to 16.

"Lower the Voting Age to 16," Yang tweeted.

"Getting young people voting early makes them voters for life. Our politics will affect young people for decades to come. They should have a say in their own future." 

In a more detailed explanation of the policy proposal on his website, Yang gave three reasons to lower the voting age: increasing turnout, the unfairness of taxing young voters without representation and promotion of civic engagement.

ADVERTISEMENT
The debate over allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote has recently picked up steam.

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleySanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire Booker unveils legislation for federal bill to ban discrimination against natural hair House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump MORE (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment to the House election reform bill to lower the age earlier this month. The amendment was voted down 126-305, but served to reopen the discussion.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Democrats open door to repealing ObamaCare tax in spending talks Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing MORE (D-Calif.) has voiced her "personal" support for the change.

The Constitution does not prohibit states from setting a lower voting age, and some cities have considered or adopted legislation to lower the minimum voting age. Many states allow 16-year-olds to preregister to vote.

Oregon is currently considering lowering the state's minimum voting age from 18 to 16.

Some other 2020 presidential hopefuls have expressed openness to lowering the voting age, according to The Washington Post, but Yang is the first to officially declare his intention to do so.

Yang has sought to carve himself a niche among 2020 candidates with his numerous progressive policy positions such as his proposal for a universal basic income.

On Tuesday he announced that his campaign raised $1.7 million in February and March from 80,000 unique donors, officially qualifying him for the Democratic presidential debates.