During the press conference about H.R. 4, The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019, on Tuesday, March 19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stated again her support for lowering the federal voting age to 16.
Pelosi made the remark after she was asked about why she always supported lowering the voting age.
“When kids are in high school is really a prime time for them to be aware of civics. The point is that when they are in high school, we see such a heightened interest in history and civics and climate and gun safety and you name it,” Pelosi said.
She continued: “And that would be a time for them to be registered to vote. Now, we want to start something that might say ‘register to register.’ But you’ve got to get them on there because once they leave high school, not all kids go to college. And even if they do, they might not be in that same sense of community that they as high school students can make a big difference. More and more, more and more.”
During her weekly press conference last Thursday, Pelosi made a similar statement, according to Fox News.
“I, myself, personally—I’m not speaking for my caucus—I, myself, have always been for lowering the voting age to 16,” Pelosi said. “I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school, when they’re interested in all of this, when they’re learning about the government, to be able to vote.”
Last week, a majority of House Democrats voted to lower the federal voting age from 18 to 16.
Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced the legislation as an amendment to House Democrats’ For the People Act. Pressley said young people across the country are taking the lead on key issues from gun violence to climate change. She said that under her amendment people as young as 16 could vote to elect members of Congress and the president, according to AP.
House Democrats voted 125-108 in favor of Pressley’s amendment, with two members voting present and three members not voting.
However, Pressley’s amendment fell short at 126-305, because House Republicans voted against the amendment at 197-1.