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The best predictor of whether someone will vote is whether they voted previously, and research suggests that 18--a time of disruption and transition away from home and into the workforce or college--is not an optimum time to get young people into the habit. High school, said Joshua Douglas, a law professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law who has studied this issue, provides a more supportive environment, especially when twinned with improvements in civic education.

A handful of municipalities across the country have lowered the voting age (but only for local elections) with promising results. Several countries, including Scotland, allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who watched their friends and teachers gunned down mobilized out of a conviction that adults had failed them and they needed to look out for their own interests. Maybe it would make sense to give them and their cohort a bigger say in their future.

Editorial on 04/17/2018

Print Headline: Lower voting age

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