Group lobbies for Missouri to lower voting age to 16

Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 7:46 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - If you’re old enough to drive, should you also be old enough to vote? Well, a statewide group is lobbying for 16-year-olds to have their voices heard in Missouri.

The teenager leading the charge said that change would strengthen civic education and engagement.

“The voices of all matter and experience is not something that just comes with age,” said Yearwood. “It happens on an everyday basis.”

DJ Yearwood founded the Youth Empowerment Initiative, a nonprofit that operates as a youth union throughout Jackson County.

He recently launched the Vote16MO campaign, which advocates for Missouri to lower the voting age to 16 years old.

Yearwood thinks that would help teenagers transition to adulthood. With so many issues involving youth, he believes those closest to the problem are closest to the solution.

“Our advocacy team determined this level of taxation without representation and lack of civic engagement as something that’s important to strengthening our electorate and to incorporating youth voices and solutions to youth problems,” said Yearwood.

Yearwood’s goal is to get it on the ballot as a constitutional amendment by 2024.