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Work 17 - Youth Led Movement To Change Voting Age To 17

posted Mar 13, 2012, 2:24 PM by Corey Haynes   [ updated Mar 13, 2012, 2:26 PM by Query Media ]
As a result of the 2009 needs-based assessment conducted by teen for the City Council Candidates Forum, our organizing teen found that one of the most pressing issues for young people in our city was youth civic disengagement. Teens asked all City Council candidates if they would support lowering the voting age in Lowell to 17. All but one agrees to support the measure. In November 2010 City Council Patrick Murphy entered a motion to create a home-rule petition to lower the voting age in Lowell to 17 for municipal elections. On December 14, 2010 the Lowell City Council voted to accept the motion to lower the voting age and send a home-rule petition to state legislators. After reviewing the home-rule petition, Lowell Representative Kevin J. Murphy filed the petition with the House Clerk with the support of Representative Tom Golden and David Nangle and Senator Eileen Donoghue. 

UTEC's local organizing teens have been working hard on this campaign because they believe that lowering the voting age in Lowell's municipal elections will:
  • Increase voter turnout
  • 17 year old will be more inclined to turn out at the polls because they are directly affected by local policies created by City Council and the School Board Committee
  • Increase the number of civically knowledgeable citizens in Lowell
  • Combined with a comprehensive civic course that would be taught in high schools, 17 year olds will be inclined to learn about their government and cast an informed vote.
  • Allow Lowell's teens to have a voice in their community and government that most directly affects them
  • Youth voices go unheard and yet they make up the largest percentage of Lowell's population. Being able to vote will give them a chance to make their opinions and concerns counted.
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