March 23, 2009

Mason offers amendment giving vote to 17-year-olds

"Not by age but through capacity is wisdom acquired."
—Plautus
State Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, will introduce an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would give 17-year-olds the right to vote in state and local elections. The amendment would allow most high school seniors in the state the right to vote during their senior year.

“If we are serious about encouraging citizenship in this country, we should make registering to vote and casting a ballot a rite of passage. Allowing people to vote for the first time in high school will start them on what I hope will be a lifetime practice,” said Mason.

Mason made his announcement Friday at the Wisconsin High School Model United Nations Conference at UW-Milwaukee.

The amendment would amend Section I of Article III of Wisconsin’s Constitution, which mirrors the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A change in the Wisconsin Constitution requires passage by two consecutive state Legislatures followed by majority support in a statewide public referendum. At least ten other states are considering or have already passed a measure allowing 17-year-olds to vote in some capacity.

13 comments:

  1. Are you kidding? When I was 17 I didn't even know what I wanted to be....much less who was running and who to vote for. NO 17 year olds do not have the 'stuff', i.e. IQ, to handle the VOTE. All right maybe a few but a very few. Consider this...it has been written on how to start a revolution. Get the college kids to go for an idiotic idea and they will rally for any cause.

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  2. Smoke 'em and help us3/23/2009 4:14 PM

    Hopefully these 17 year olds will see the infinite wisdom of continuing to saddle the Wisconsin budget on the backs of ciggie smokers.

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  3. Mason wants 17 year olds to vote but can not be bothered to keep jobs for them in Wisconsin.
    Corry the 200 + jobs that will be lost with the film tax credits would be nice to keep.
    Must be far more impotent to be the Governor's lap dog

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  4. Okay, but then we should also amend the required age for selective service to 17 as well. After all, that was the guiding wisdom behind giving 18 year olds the right to vote. Citizen rights require citizen responsibility.

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  5. Corry Mason believes I think that as long as the sheep I mean the 17 year old's vote Democratic that all that matter let the poor and unwashed fight the wars

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  6. @Smoke 'em and help us said...

    may as well milk that for what it's worth until everyone quits!

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  7. I think Mason just makes crazy stuff up to get his name in the papers. Afterall, it's all about name recognition in politics.
    Didn't he also want eight yr olds to be able to hunt too? Someone should ask Kay at blueracine about that one since she's blaming Gunderson alone for that bill.

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  8. I can see allowing a 17 year old to vote in a primary as long as s/he turns 18 before the general election.

    The poll numbers bear it out, younger voters just do not turn out for elections. So why lower the voting age?

    And if Rep. Mason wants to lower the voting age, will he correspondingly lower the age to be able to run for public office?

    Might be more primaries due to these energentic 17 year old voters!

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  9. Maybe it is not a plot. Maybe he has a point. I am not even a democrat. I don't belong to any party. I think it is a great idea to get our seniors in high school engaged in the voting process. Not everyone goes to college. If they choose to end school at high school graduation, then they will be familiar with the process. Who is so paranoid they think every senior will vote democratic? Lets start working together for the better of us all.

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  10. When I first read this, I thought, "Nope. Dumb idea." but the more I consider it... hmmm.. after just watching our past election and how the kids got involved, well, this might be a great way to encourage/familiarize teens with the process. At thirteen, my kid has a pretty good idea of right and wrong and is able to discern a person who also holds her beliefs. She became incredibly involved in this last election and is now paying attention to our local/mayoral race. I think Cory Mason might be on to something here...

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  11. Corry was less then nice to many at the PUBLIC joint finance hearings at State Fair Park. Mason I understand was rude interrupted those some who had waited HOURS to speak.
    Seams if you do not like what Corry master Doyle wants his dog will snap.
    Woof Woo good dog Corry

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  12. Do the changes between the age of 17 and 18 really constitute a big enough difference to make this illegitimate? Easy for someone who can already vote to look down on such a bill, for those of us who cannot it is a much bigger deal. Competency is only loosely related to age. Those who are 80 are allowed to vote but may be very well less mentally capable than a 17 year old. There is no overall rule for competency and age (with the obvious exception of particularly young ages). Assuming competency magically appears at age 18 is equally ridiculous. There will be some who are capable of holding a vote, some who are not.

    There is a famous phrase in this nation of 'No Taxation without Representation'. 17 year olds can pay taxes to the national and state governments, but we lack representation (voting rights). And no, Parents are not valid representation. Many 17 year olds, contrary to popular belief, do oppose their parents political views. "Citizen rights require citizen responsibility."

    Calling 17 year olds 'sheep' is also a mistake. Choosing to vote along what you have learned as a child is not a reason to illegitimize the right to vote. It can change at age 17, age 30, or age 80. And it can be a legitimate change at any of those ages.

    Trying to illegitimize the amendment based on the politician proposing it and not the content is, frankly, petty.

    "The poll numbers bear it out, younger voters just do not turn out for elections. So why lower the voting age?"

    Best way to get a group to vote is to give them the right to vote. Beyond the obvious fact that any of them voting will be an increase, this new right becomes something exciting and different, a big deal. It encourages youth voting. And while many think that more young people voting is an issue with party lines, having a greater percentage of the population voting benefits fair democracy in general. If a party is hurt by it, they have not been hurt unfairly, they merely have not succeeded in the democratic system.

    This is also a good way to draw more attention to local and state elections, as the 17 year old voting bloc will only be able to vote for those. Good or bad, that is worth considering.

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  13. Do the changes between the age of 17 and 18 really constitute a big enough difference to make this illegitimate? Easy for someone who can already vote to look down on such a bill, for those of us who cannot it is a much bigger deal. Competency is only loosely related to age. Those who are 80 are allowed to vote but may be very well less mentally capable than a 17 year old. There is no overall rule for competency and age (with the obvious exception of particularly young ages). Assuming competency magically appears at age 18 is equally ridiculous. There will be some who are capable of holding a vote, some who are not.

    There is a famous phrase in this nation of 'No Taxation without Representation'. 17 year olds can pay taxes to the national and state governments, but we lack representation (voting rights). And no, Parents are not valid representation. Many 17 year olds, contrary to popular belief, do oppose their parents political views. "Citizen rights require citizen responsibility."

    Calling 17 year olds 'sheep' is also a mistake. Choosing to vote along what you have learned as a child is not a reason to illegitimize the right to vote. It can change at age 17, age 30, or age 80. And it can be a legitimate change at any of those ages.

    Trying to illegitimize the amendment based on the politician proposing it and not the content is, frankly, petty.

    "The poll numbers bear it out, younger voters just do not turn out for elections. So why lower the voting age?"

    Best way to get a group to vote is to give them the right to vote. Beyond the obvious fact that any of them voting will be an increase, this new right becomes something exciting and different, a big deal. It encourages youth voting. And while many think that more young people voting is an issue with party lines, having a greater percentage of the population voting benefits fair democracy in general. If a party is hurt by it, they have not been hurt unfairly, they merely have not succeeded in the democratic system.

    This is also a good way to draw more attention to local and state elections, as the 17 year old voting bloc will only be able to vote for those. Good or bad, that is worth considering.

    ReplyDelete