Geoff West is a staff writer at The Fulcrum, where he covers voting and voting rights, civic education, civil discourse and disinformation. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
When the mayor of Takoma Park, Md., hired a 17-year-old campaign manager and ran ads in the local high school newspaper in 2015, the highly unusual campaign moves seemed to make solid political sense. After all, nearly half of the Washington suburb's teenagers had turned out in 2013, when it became the nation's first municipality to award the franchise to people younger than 18 — and overall turnout hovered at a dismal 10 percent.
But the success of this experiment in civic engagement has not heralded a transformation in the nation's voter qualification rules. Only half a dozen other places have followed Takoma Park's lead. Proposals in several other liberal bastions have come up short — and last week the House resoundingly rejected, for the second time in three years, allowing 16-year-olds to vote in federal elections.
Many educators and progressive politicians remain undeterred. In a time of embarrassingly bad civic literacy and with turnout in most recent elections well below most developed countries, they say lowering the voting age would be a great way to breed lifelong voting habits in high schoolers while making their civic education immediately relevant outside of the classroom.
- How to reframe elections for new voters - The Fulcrum ›
- Oregon, Boston suburb move toward teen voting - The Fulcrum ›
- San Francisco: lower voting age - The Fulcrum ›
- Younger teens could vote in Massachusetts local elections - The ... ›
- 4 Reasons for lowering the US voting age to 16 | Vote16 USA ›
- Young Activist Pushes To Lower Voting Age To 16 As 'The Logical ... ›
- Citizen Voting Age Population by Race and Ethnicity ›
- Majority of House Democrats vote in favor of lowering voting age to ... ›
- Voter Registration Age Requirements | USAGov ›
Business leaders have committed nearly $6 million in funding for political reform groups since last year, through the help of an organization that engages the business community on the structural threats to democracy.
The funding was committed by members of the Leadership Now Project, an organization comprised largely of business leaders that helps channel strategic investment in the political reform space.
Last year, Leadership Now began analyzing the policies and practices of nearly 200 political reform groups to provide the business community and potential donors with a sense of which organizations offered a particularly high return on investment for democracy.
- Three reasons Republicans should support the 28th Amendment ... ›
- Democracy groups rally to defend independent redistricting in ... ›
- Leadership Now Project - The Fulcrum ›
- Why a team of MBAs has formed an election integrity startup - The Fulcrum ›
- Leadership crisis imperils virus response, but there's hope - The Fulcrum ›
A poll of more than 8,000 inmates suggests that allowing those currently or formerly incarcerated to vote will not necessarily benefit the Democrats, as many operatives in both parties believe.
Slate and the nonprofit Marshall Project, a news site covering criminal justice, unveiled the survey Wednesday, and it is sure to be cited by civil rights groups pressing to expand the voting rights of convicted felons — whose main challenges have included persuading Republicans their aim is boosting civic engagement, not gaining a partisan edge.
- Virginia Gov. Northam restores voting rights to felons - The Fulcrum ›
- Movement to restore felons' voting rights keeps growing, and in ... ›
- New Jersey latest state to restore felon voting rights - The Fulcrum ›
- Jail presents special challenges for 500K potential voters - The Fulcrum ›
- What would happen to elections if felons could vote? - Business ... ›
- How Americans — And Democratic Candidates — Feel About ... ›
- Why letting ex-felons vote probably won't swing Florida ›
- Do Felons Vote Democrat? Why Bernie Sanders' Idea to Let Felons ... ›
- What Do We Really Know About the Politics of People Behind Bars ... ›