In the quest for something "different" on this forum, I'm posting a poll to ask whether the current voting age of 18 in the U.S. should be raised. The reason I ask is that I'm wondering if the majority of 18 year-olds in our current society (not the way the society was 20 or 50 or 100 years ago) are sufficiently mature and independent to make such an important decision as who should be elected to government office. I think it's a fairly generally known fact that young children generally reflect their parents' political views (if it isn't, then this can be a debate point). At some point as adults, we develop our own independence and may no longer share political views with our parents (many of course do share those views, but they arrive at those views independently; in other words, not just because it's what their parents told them to believe). What I'm unsure of is when during the developmental continuum from adolescence to adulthood do people stop taking their parents' view of the world and politics for granted and make independent political decisions? Given that in other areas of life, indicators of independence seem to appear at a later age than historically (for example, adult children living at home with their parents over the age of 18, still dependent on their parents for financial support, or college students still having their parents come resolve their problems rather than doing it themselves), are 18 year-olds sufficiently independent to perform a function as important as voting, or are they only replicating their parents' votes? (You may disagree with the premise of this statement as well.) You'll notice, I'm not working from hard data here, but my personal impression of changes in society and maturity of 18 year-olds. Hence, the poll and opportunity to discuss and present both supporting and opposing views. Above, I probably should have defined majority...simple majority, 2/3 majority, overwhelming majority? I've chosen not to. If the difference would sway your opinion from yes to no, or vice versa, then choose unsure and explain. Now that I've set up the general question, I'd like to put one restriction on the discussion. Discuss the merits of raising the voting age or keeping the status quo only as they apply to the maturity, independence, education, etc., of people in that age grouping, and not with regard to whether they are permitted or required to do other things at that age. For example, "If they can be sent to war at that age, they should vote," would not be a valid argument in this debate: make the assumption that whatever we set the voting age at, all related responsibilities that require that level of maturity would also be subject to revision as well. I'll urge those who are around the age of 18 or nearing it to please not simply react to having to wait longer to vote. I tend to think the teens participating on this forum are more mature than the general population, so take into consideration your peers, classmates, etc., and think about whether enough of them have the maturity to make their own informed decisions when it comes to voting to merit keeping the age at 18. Don't worry, I'm not running off to lobby Congress to pass a new law, just thought it would make for an interesting non-partisan discussion.