Students push to lower minimum voting age in Oregon to 16

Students push to lower minimum voting age in Oregon to 16
The students raised issues ranging from gun control, to climate change, to equality.

SALEM, OR (KATU/CNN) - Some lawmakers and youth activists are pushing for Oregon to lower its minimum voting age to 16.

Oregon state lawmakers announced a new bill that, if approved, would ask voters in 2020 whether the state's voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16.

Supporters say 16 and 17 year olds are affected by life and death issues such as gun control and the environment, but they have no political voice.

"If I can be tried as an adult, why can't I vote as an adult? I pay income tax like an adult, I drive like an adult, I can be charged and sentenced as an adult? Why is something as important as voting limited to our present and not our future?" said Christine Bynum, a student activist at La Salle High School.

The bill's authors say they want 16 and 17 year olds to be able to vote in all elections, including federal races.

The 26th Amendment to the US Constitution lowered the minimum voting age to 18 nearly 50 years ago.

If approved by voters, Oregon would be the first US state to lower the statewide voting age to 16.

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