by WorldTribune Staff, March 3, 2021
The House by a vote of 302-125 on Wednesday rejected a measure that would lower the voting age to 16 for federal elections.
The House is set to vote and likely to pass a sweeping election reform bill, HR-1, as soon as this week. Democrats have a majority in the House, but the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where the measure would need support from all 50 members of that party caucus, plus 10 Republicans.
Lawmakers rejected the amendment to election reform legislation proposed by Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a member of the so-called “Squad” of socialist Democrats. Americans must be 18 years old to vote in federal elections.
“My amendment would enfranchise young Americans to help shape and form policies that will set the course for our future, from police violence to immigration reform to climate change,” Pressley said.
Democrats say the election reform bill will eliminate “dark money” in elections and end gerrymandering and voting restrictions they say are discriminatory.
Republicans say the legislation will open the door to more voter fraud and would nationalize the election process to favor Democrats. In his speech Sunday, former President Donald Trump outlined a plan for election reform that is urgently needed, he said, to save the U.S. system of government.
The federal voting age was lowered in 1971 from 21 to 18 after the states ratified the change in the 26th Amendment to the Constitution.
Some cities, including Tacoma Park, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, allow those as young as 16 years old to vote in local elections.