Dem lawmaker introduces amendment to lower voting age to 16 in federal elections

Dem lawmaker introduces amendment to lower voting age to 16 in federal elections
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThere's no such thing as a free bus Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms Tlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday introduced an amendment to the House election reform bill that would lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in federal elections. 

"I am honored & excited to be introducing my very 1st amendment on the House floor, an amendment to #HR1, the #ForthePeopleAct," Pressley, a first-term congresswoman who represents the 7th Congressional District in Massachusetts, said on Twitter. "My amendment will lower the voting age from 18 to 16, allowing our youth to have a seat at the table of democracy."

Pressley argued in a succession of tweets that citizens who are 16 and 17 make substantial contributions to America's "labor force and to their local economy through paying taxes." 

“Across this nation, young people are leading the way — from gun violence, to climate change, to the future of work — they are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action,” Pressley said in a statement.

Her amendment would require states to "permit an individual to register to vote or vote in an election for Federal office held in the State on the grounds of the individual’s age if the individual will be at least 16 years of age on the date of the election," according to MassLive.com

ADVERTISEMENT

The amendment is a part of a sweeping anti-corruption and voting rights bill, known as H.R. 1, that Democrats in the House are expected to pass this week. The measure, among other things, aims to expand voting rights by creating automatic voter registration and making Election Day a national holiday for federal workers. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEverytown plans ad blitz on anniversary of House background check bill Kentucky state official says foreign adversaries 'routinely' scan election systems Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms MORE (R-Ky.) has said the bill would not be brought to the floor for a vote in the upper chamber. 

Lowering the voting age requirement to 16 has gained increasing support in states and cities around the nation. Democratic state lawmakers in Oregon introduced legislation to lower the state's voting age last month.