The movement led by Democrats to lower the legal voting age to 16, and in some cases even younger, is gaining traction as teenagers and activists aim to win support and secure victories at the local level. In Vermont, the “Vote 16” campaign recently achieved a win when the state legislature overrode Governor Phil Scott’s veto and allowed 16-year-olds to vote in municipal elections and hold elected offices in the town of Brattleboro. The goal is to increase youth involvement in politics and strengthen communities. A similar campaign is underway in Missouri, where a group is lobbying to lower the voting age for local and school board elections to 16. Supporters argue that it would help teenagers transition to adulthood and allow them to approach politics without the influence of political parties. Critics, however, question the maturity and judgment of teenagers to make important political decisions, citing the ongoing development of their brains. Despite the opposition, several other states, including New Mexico, Oregon, and Massachusetts, are considering measures to lower the voting age. Additionally, cities such as Oakland, Berkeley, and Takoma Park already allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.

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