WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Takoma Park Teens Prove They Are No Election Day Slouches

Takoma Park teens were allowed to vote this week — and many of them took the opportunity to do so.
Takoma Park teens were allowed to vote this week — and many of them took the opportunity to do so.

You can call teenagers lots of things, but you can’t accuse those in Takoma Park of being civic slackers.

Turnout among 16- and 17-year-olds in Tuesday’s election for mayor and Council members was four times higher than overall turnout, according to Jessie Carpenter, Takoma Park’s City Clerk. The election was the first time in history that the franchise had been extended to residents under the age of 18.

Of the 134 16- and 17-year-olds that registered to vote on Tuesday, 59 actually cast ballots, a turnout of 44 percent. For the overall voting populace of 11,300, though, turnout was significantly lower, only reaching 11 percent.

In May, the Takoma Park City Council lowered the age for voting in local elections to 16, making it the first place in the country to allow people under the age of 18 to vote. Supporters of the measure said that lowering the voting age would attract more people to participate in local elections, as well as help encourage a life-long habit of casting ballots in municipal races, which tend to be low-turnout affairs.

While the presence of 16- and 17-year-olds was a big change for Takoma Park, the actual results of the elections weren’t: incumbents won every contest, and only one—the mayor’s race—featured a challenger.

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.