MARYLAND

Takoma Park may lower voting age to 16

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Takoma Park has always been unique and now it may stand out even more because of a new proposal. The city may become the first in the country to lower the voting age from 18 to 16.

“I remember how it was 16 and I couldn’t have voted for catcher. I was naïve,” says Gene Mackrell.

Mackrell, a longtime resident of Takoma Park, is not alone in dismissing the idea.

“Sixteen years old is a tad young for kid to make decisions that’s going to affect him for the rest of their lives,” says Michael Kidd.

The idea came from City Councilmember Tim Male, who says several countries have recently lowered the voting age.

“They find that 16, 17 year old's vote like any other older voter. They know the policies, they know stuff that represent their interests and they vote,” says Male.

If the proposal passes, it would mean that 16 year old's would be able to vote in mayor and city council races.

Takoma Park officials say it will allow teens to get used to the process early, instead of two years later when they’re concentrating on college and other transitions. But some teens say they’re busy enough.

“I got a lot of stuff to worry about right now and that’s just going to add to it,” says Byron Ragland, 16.

The proposal goes to a public hearing Monday before being voted on later this month.

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