Voting Rights for Older Children and Civic Education
by Michael S. Merry and Anders Schinkel
The issue of voting rights for older children has been high on the political
and philosophical agenda for quite some time now, and not without reason.
Aside from principled moral and philosophical reasons why it is an important
matter, many economic, environmental, and political issues are currently being
decided—sometimes through indecision—that greatly impact the future of today's
children. Past and current generations of adults have, arguably, mortgaged their
children's future, and this makes the question whether (some) children should be
granted the right to vote all the more pressing. Should (some) children be given
the right to vote? Moreover, does the answer to this question depend on civic
education, on whether children have been deliberately prepared for the exercise of
that right? These are the questions that will occupy us in this article. Our answer
to the first will be that older children—children roughly between 14 and 16 years
of age—ought to be given the right to vote.