Is it unconstitutional to deny 16- and 17-year-old women and men the right to vote? I think it is.

Voting is self-determination and a right for all citizens who pay taxes. This age group does pay taxes, sales tax, excise tax and income tax. Nearly every legislative topic impacts them, and they have no say.

Why should 16- and 17-year-olds be allowed to vote? We need to encourage young people to get involved with those who write our laws — laws which have lasting impact on each one of us. In order to maintain a strong and vibrant constitutional republic, civic responsibility of the youth is an absolute.

At 16 most people are making life-changing decisions about post secondary education, trade school, health care, parenthood, jobs, working conditions, planet health, debt and the military. At age 16, one pays all sorts of state and federal taxes with no representation.

As I recall, taxation without representation didn’t sit well with many of the colonists during the American Revolution.

Sixteen becoming the new voting age would empower young people on critical topics — be it climate change, federal and state budgets, gun control, disaster relief, local educational and recreational issues.

Giving them the right to vote would empower young minds and energize the youth.

Pamela Gilpin Stowe, Auburn

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