Sunday, November 17, 2013

Youth of a Nation

Right now, in the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave, there are people who are arguing for raising the voting age. There are people who think that our nation's young people have no business paying attention to what's going on around us or taking action to help form a more perfect union.

The time has come to demand leadership that encourages our nation's young people and respects and values our opinions and our voices. Allowing teenagers to pre-register to vote has the ability to increase turnout among the next generation of voters. The cost to implement such a program would be minimal and there is no better investment we can make than to invest in encouraging more of our future leaders to become active participants in their local, state, and national elections.

I want to see all of America's young people have the opportunity to pre-register and be added to the voter rolls when they turn 18. I've started a petition to urge the leaders of our nation to come together and pass legislation that will give us this opportunity.
Give All of America's Teenagers the Ability to Pre-Register to Vote

Now, I need your help. I need you to sign this petition and share it with everyone you know. I would also like to see other people contacting and even starting petitions to their state lawmakers, urging them to get this done. I am just one voice and we will need many voices, especially the voices of our young people, in order to get our lawmakers to pay attention.

If you decide to start a petition or get a response from one of your elected representatives, please come and share it on my NC Youth Rock Facebook page.

It's time for America's children, young and old, to be seen and, more importantly, heard. Even the youngest citizens can take part by drawing a picture and sending it to their representatives.


  1. You know what young one? You are a serious inspiration. I only wish that at 17 I can be as classy as you at 12.
    I will be moving to North Carolina soon from Jakarta, Indonesia and with voting in the states becoming available to me in the near future the points that you raise have become very close to my heart and I'm glad someone as eloquent as you is standing up for American Youth's voting right. You go girl.

  2. Madison, have you heard of the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA)? They've been pushing to lower the voting age and a few other youth issues, like allowing 16 and 17 year olds to preregister to vote.

  3. I applaud you for your political enthusiasm and interest Madison. You are obviously a very bright young girl. You are not the average young person though. As I’m sure you are aware, most of your peers are not as intelligent, engaged or informed as you are.There are rare kids like you and there are also way too many adults that are ignorant of what is going on in this world, but voting age laws were written for a reason. While I find it interesting that we deem 18 year olds capable of making a decision on who will best make laws affecting taxpayers when they have yet to support themselves or pay taxes, but not capable of handling alcohol, that was the age determined to be the year that the majority of young people had the maturity and the judgment to be able to cast a vote. While you have to wait with the rest of your peers to be able to cast one vote, obviously you still have the ability to affect votes by doing what you are doing, so you are still active in the political process.
    Your passion on this subject is likely because this issue speaks to you on an emotional level due to your age, but have you done your homework on the facts? For instance, have you researched what other states have for their policy on early registrations and where NC stands compared to them? What “right” is being infringed by this? (Can you define an “inalienable right?) You can’t vote until you are 18, so what is accomplished by registering two years before you can vote? You claimed "Allowing teenagers to pre-register to vote has the ability to increase turnout among the next generation of voters." How so? What proof do you have of this? While you may think it is unfair to take away something that you liked, it is not a right and realistically, I fail to see how it would affect the vote either way with legitimate voters. Whether a person registers at 16 or at 18, how would that determine whether or not they walk in the door on election day and vote? I actually think that someone who just registered would be more pumped up to vote than someone who was signed up in a class at school two years prior.
    What is the point of registering if you can't vote until you are 18? If the goal is to get them excited to vote, can’t that be accomplished through education and anticipation of the day that they are eligible to go in and register? Would allowing you to sign up for driver's ed right now make you more likely to take the class? There is a cost to the state to do these early registrations as well as added paperwork. It also increases the possibility of 16 year olds who may not understand and attempt to go vote before they are 18 to be disappointed. (There were some 17 year olds who had this experience in the last presidential election.) When it comes time to vote, I would bet that most youth who just turned 18 that were registered at 16 don’t even realize/remember that they were registered. (It would be interesting to study this.) The reality which is easy to prove is that we are left with an excess of names in the database of people who don’t vote. These inactive voters are ripe for fraud.
    Because you are obviously intelligent, I would encourage you to explore this and other political subjects further. Really try to understand the other side. Some excellent professors have their students debate supporting the other side’s position. That’s a fantastic learning exercise. Read books that are highly regarded from each side of the aisle. Study philosophers on both sides. Read the actual text of our founders. They debated many of the same issues that we debate today. Challenge yourself to watch/listen to positions on current events that you don’t agree with and then dispute it with research.
    Anyways, that would be my advice, which you can obviously take it or leave it. That is the beauty of living in a free country. Good luck to you. I hope that you fully realize all the potential that you possess.

  4. Madison- I'm a sophomore in college and I am in awe of you. Keep on keeping on, you are really an amazing young woman and you show more bravery, intelligence and eloquence than some of my peers up here at a prestigious New England University, and I really mean that!

  5. Madison, does the project include education for potential young voters in information gathering and fact-based thinking?