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With few exceptions, the following are the rule of the land:

  • At 18, an American proceeds before the bar of the law as a full adult.
  • A person needs to be 18 years of age to buy real estate or enter into a rental agreement.
  • Child work laws are in effect until age 18.
  • The marriage age, without parental consent, and age of carnal consent are 18.
  • And, the age of selective service (draft) is 18.

Therefore, when the voting age was lowered to 18, it was a recognition that an 18-year-old was an adult fully participating in society. They could go fight in Vietnam, or get a job and start raising a family. Thus, such active citizens deserved the fullest right of a American citizen, electoral franchise. In the last 48 years, the length of maturation has, for the most part, greatly increased.

Several leading Democrats, including presidential candidates, have called for the enfranchisement of 16-year-olds. Sixteen-year-olds are "minors" and "juveniles." As such, it is assumed they are not competent to make up their minds in a rational way. They are protected from the results of that shortfall, by such things as a juvenile justice system. Thus, they have none of the above enumerated rights and responsibilities.

I refuse to speculate as to the motivation for such an illogical proposal as to give the vote those who, by common sense and even law, are unprepared use it wisely.

Karl Heinitz 

Mount Pleasant

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