Lowering Voting Age To 16 Moves Closer To Reality For Western Mass City

A Western Massachusetts community is seeking to lower the voting age to 16.

Voting, election
Voting, election Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Steven Fruitsmaack

During the last City Council meeting in Northampton, city officials voted to allow residents age 16 and older to vote in municipal elections.

More approvals are needed before such a change can take effect.

Even if the age is lowered in Northampton, residents would still need to be age 18 or older to register to vote and participate in state and national elections.

The charge to lower the voting age is part of a year-long review of the city’s charter. The City Council unanimously voted on Thursday, Oct. 1, to approve the Charter Review Committee’s recommendation on lowering the voting age for local elections.

Any charter change would need to be approved by the City Council and mayor before being passed on to the Massachusetts Legislature for final approval.

Among the reasons to lower the voting age are to give young people a voice in actions that will directly impact them and the notion that if you’re old enough to get a job and pay taxes, you’re old enough to vote.

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