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Lowering Voting Age to 16: Challenges and Opportunities


“Lowering the Voting Age to 16? A Comparative Study on the Political Competence and Engagement of Underage and Adult Youth” relies on the power of inductive reasoning to examine the relationship between political choices and age. Valérie-Anne Mahéo and Éric Bélanger utilize comparative analysis to examine the political competence of persons aged 16 and those aged 18 or more. Using evidence from different sources, the researchers describe how and why underage participation in elections could transform political and social dynamics. The work offers a balanced view by describing how young individuals in different regions or countries are informed and capable of benefiting from their parents and schools to be remain involved in electoral processes. While this article describes the relationship between voting age and democratic processes, it fails to acknowledge the fact that schools and family members could influence such young citizens negatively, thereby being unable to make proper voting decisions. The article’s conclusion fails to consider case studies from different democracies whereby voting age has been reduced to 16 years to deliver evidence-based insights.

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Article Analysis

After going through the selected article, the identifiable research question is whether it would be appropriate or not to lower the voting age to 16 in an effort to address most of the political issues experienced in different parts of the world (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). The authors present this question in the form of a hypothesis. The emerging conclusion is that the available solutions to the research issue remains divisive. Some of the available information and insights are also less convincing and incapable of delivering a common argument.

The authors present a bigger set of questions that form the basis of the entire report and help the reader come up with the relevant ideas and observations. The first one is whether 16 is the right age to allow children to vote in mature democracies. The second question is how policymakers could approach this issue from different perspectives. The third one is the role different social institutions play regarding this problem (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). The article also tries to describe some of the directions future investigations should take if they want to present convincing arguments and opinions regarding the question of lowering voting age to 16.

After going through this article, the reader observes that the writers have used inductive reasoning to examine the debate from different perspectives and offer a convincing argument. Through such a method, they have succeeded in analyzing some of the existing ideas, views, arguments, and generalizations surrounding the outlined questions, thus being able to present a seasoned conclusion (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). This strategy makes it easier for them to offer conclusive arguments and ideas regarding the targeted question and how different societies could approach this issue and pursue their social and political goals.

The authors have used a realistic approach to present the most appropriate arguments and ideas regarding the importance and/or disadvantage of lowering voting age to 16. To achieve such a goal, they have examined the realities surrounding the selected issue and some of the possible challenges that might affect the subsequent decisions made (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). They have gone further to consider some of the existing opportunities and progresses arising from societal settings, institutions, and technological breakthroughs within the past two decades.

To deliver the intended information to the reader, the authors have used a conceptual framework as the primary language for developing the subject matter and presenting the intended arguments to the reader. Specifically, the article begins by focusing on the question of the current and the anticipated voting age, the choices that leaders need to make, and some of the unsettled issues all key stakeholders should consider (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). This approach makes it possible for the researchers to approach the study from the right perspective and consider the best ways to address the issue.

The article has relied on the use of a qualitative method to present the intended ideas, analyze some of the thoughts and ideas stakeholders present, and provide directions for further arguments. Such a method is supported through the use of categorical data whereby the information is grouped under discrete classes (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). This type of data is hard to count and helps the scholars present specific age groups and rely on the acquired information to make the relevant arguments and conclusions.

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Depending on the nature of this study, the researchers could have considered the use of human subjects in an attempt to gather the most appropriate data and rely on it to make informed decisions. However, the designed approach did not require human subjects review since the authors did not rely on any method of direct collection of information or data (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). Some of the potential harms that would have needed to be mitigation throughout the project period was the fact that the entire study revolved around the presentation of information to do with citizens who are considered underage and immature.

After going through the selected article, it is agreeable that the authors have proved specific points to the reader. For instance, they have succeeded in demonstrating that the formulated research issue is significant and has value within the realm of democracy. This is the case since they have described an ongoing debate from an informed perspective and offered some of the facts and issues associated with the desire to lower voting age to 16 (Mahéo and Bélanger 2020). Such an approach reveals that outlined research has value for democracy. The completion of the outlined research can help address this question with finality and ensure that voters are capable of making informed choices and decisions.


The analyzed article has presented the divergent views and opinions of different professionals regarding the question of lowering voting age to 16. The authors wanted to guide and inform the reader about some of the realities, challenges, and opportunities that could emerge when countries allowed individuals below the identified age to vote or engage in political affairs. The authors relied on evidence from different sources and examined some of the possible issues that could arise when focusing on the selected question. Family members and learning institutions could reshape the opinions of most of these young people and dictate the way they make political decisions and vote. Through the power of inductive reasoning, this article has been successful in making the intended argument. However, the reader would acknowledge that additional studies are needed before lowering the current voting age to 16. Additionally, the consideration of democracies and societies that have lowered the voting age could present evidence-based insights for completing additional studies in the future.


Mahéo, Valérie-Anne, and Éric Bélanger. “Lowering the Voting Age to 16? A Comparative Study on the Political Competence and Engagement of Underage and Adult Youth.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 53, no. 1, (2020): 596-617.

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