Why We Should Lower the Voting Age to 16

challenging the tiresome stereotype of American kids as indolent narcissists whose brains have been addled by smartphones. They offer an inspiring example of thoughtful, eloquent protest.

.. when it comes to electing lawmakers whose decisions about gun control and other issues affect their lives, these high schoolers lack any real power.

.. The federal voting age in the United States should be lowered from 18 to 16.

.. it is important to distinguish between what psychologists call “cold” and “hot” cognition.

.. Cold cognitive abilities are those we use when we are in a calm situation, when we are by ourselves and have time to deliberate and when the most important skill is the ability to reason logically with facts. Voting is a good example of this sort of situation.

.. Studies of cold cognition have shown that the skills necessary to make informed decisions are firmly in place by 16.

.. Hot cognitive abilities are those we rely on to make good decisions when we are emotionally aroused, in groups or in a hurry.

.. self-regulation, which enables you to control your emotions, withstand pressure from others, resist temptation and check your impulses.

.. cold cognitive abilities, self-regulation does not mature until about age 22

..  Consider the dozen or so countries like Argentina, Austria, Brazil and Nicaragua that allow people to vote at 16 in national, state or local elections. In such countries, voter turnout among 16- and 17-year-olds is significantly higher than it is among older young adults.

.. people between 18 and 24 have the lowest voter turnout of any age group in the United States

.. the United States lowered the federal voting age was in 1971, when it went from 21 to 18. In that instance, the main motivating force was outrage over the fact that 18-year-olds could be sent to fight in Vietnam but could not vote.

.. The proposal to lower the voting age to 16 is motivated by today’s outrage that those most vulnerable to school shootings have no say in how such atrocities are best prevented.