Vote16USAGeneration Citizen works to empower young people to become engaged and effective citizens. As part of our Policy and Advocacy efforts, we organize Vote16USA, a national initiative that supports young people advocating to extend voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds, starting on the local level.
Work to shift the voting age to 16 can spur conversations on the importance of youth political participation, and the policy can drive demand for civics education.
Generation Citizen has determined that significant energy exists for movements to lower the voting age in diverse municipalities in the United States. Young people, policy-makers, and citizens are hungry for innovative proposals to awaken our increasingly fragmented democracy, and the idea of lowering the voting age has gained significant momentum in recent years.
Vote16USA has progressed rapidly since its launch in December 2015. We have established a Youth Advisory Board to guide the effort, and have led and supported advocacy efforts in states including California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and DC. Hundreds of local and national media outlets have covered the topic and Vote16USA’s work on it, including major publications like the New York Times. In 2019, 126 members of Congress went on the record as supporters of 16-year-old voting. Following the 2020 election, where a campaign in Oakland won a landmark victory to lower the voting age for school board elections, the moment is ripe to build on recent progress and advance a cohesive movement to reinvigorate our democracy by extending voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds. Learn more at Vote16USA.org.
- New York Times on the campaign’s launch
- Vox on the research behind the campaign, its fit with GC’s mission, and notable local efforts
- A youth-written op-ed in Teen Vogue
- Editorial Board endorsements from the Washington Post and Boston Globe
- The Economist supporting the policy with empirical evidence
- An NBC Nightly News segment on youth-led campaigns
- NBC News on significant campaign progress in 2020