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I don’t think teens should be allowed to vote. There are teens (and adults, too) who don’t care about the president, the government or our laws. Those of us who do care are better off waiting to reach age 18, so that we can be more informed about what we’re voting for. Teens often claim that we know a lot, and, while this may be true, we need more time to mature.
Frank Gaspar, 15, The School of Arts and Enterprise

If the children are the future, shouldn’t teens have a say and be allowed to vote? All people are affected by the decisions politicians make. Allowing teens to vote allows teens to have a say in their futures. People who don’t want teens to vote think we’re so ignorant, aren’t intelligent or that we wouldn’t care. But the teens who are ignorant or don’t care, wouldn’t vote anyway. But by not allowing teens to vote because of some fear, people are preventing the kids who care from having their say. I think that anyone at least 13 years old should be able to vote.
Daisy Berru, 17, Montebello HS

Teens should be allowed to vote. Some of my friends have strong opinions about the candidates and some of these are informed opinions. If I were allowed to vote, I know for sure that I would pay more attention to the speeches and the candidates and I would be more informed. But some teenagers wouldn’t take it seriously, so that’s why I think a percentage system is good. Seventeen- and 16-year-olds should get half a vote and 14- and 15-year-olds should get a quarter of a vote.
Silvia Velasquez, 13, Glendale HS

The age requirement for voting should be lowered to 16. Some teens probably wouldn’t take it seriously. They might choose some random candidate as a joke. However, I’ve seen that some teens are mature and well-informed. There are a few that are probably more informed than some adults. If some teens know more than some adults then they should definitely be allowed to vote. This will allow teens to have more of a say in today’s world, which I think many teens would like.
Seth Falcon, 14, Environmental Science and Technology HS

I think that all high school teenagers should be able to vote. Watching speeches and searching the Internet has given me as much information about the candidates and issues as an adult. If high school students were able to vote, they would have a voice in the elections, which would help make elections matter more to teens.
Susie Park, 15, Marshall HS

I’m not sure if teenagers should vote. Most teens aren’t informed; some of my friends don’t even know what Democrat and Republican mean, and they definitely don’t know who’s running for president. Even though some of my classmates and me watched parts of the political conventions on TV, we weren’t able to watch more because of homework overload. And it’s hard to say that we would take voting seriously because stuff like healthcare and unemployment are a foreign language. My classes don’t teach about them and my parent’s don’t discuss it with me because they think I’m too young.
lllllThen again, I could always take the initiative to get informed. I could read the news more often instead of Facebook statuses and I could stop flipping the channels every time Obama or Romney are on TV instead of looking for Jersey Shore.
lllllBut there is always a chance that if teens were allowed to vote, adults would influence the decisions we made. My parents, who are Republicans all the way, would always give me biased information. And when I’ve tried to discuss my point of view on things we argued about who was right. So how would I know what was right and what wasn’t if I didn’t have anyone else to go to?
lllllIf I had the right to vote, I’d get my information from newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, where I can stay up to date about the views of each candidate on things like education, gay marriage, health care, etc. In the end, I’d choose the candidate who I felt deserved the title of President.
Jacqueline Uy, 15, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies