“The New Eighteen” is a youth-led campaign to lower the voting age in Connecticut. The campaign, which was organized by a group of high schoolers at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, began in the spring of 2011.
The New18 campaign was founded on the belief that young people deserve a greater voice in our political system. Although members of the campaign are currently focusing their efforts on lowering the voting age in Connecticut, their ultimate goal is to help build support for a nationwide effort to lower the voting age. In this way, the campaign hopes to bring greater public attention to youth rights.
Why focus on the voting age?
Elected officials will not take young people’s concerns seriously until young people have the power to vote them out of office. Extending the franchise to young people, therefore, is the only way to ensure that young people have a meaningful voice in the political arena.
Lowering the voting age would force policymakers to better account for youth perspectives on a diverse array of political issues that uniquely affect young people. These issues include education quality, child poverty, youth services, school bullying, and juvenile justice system reform.