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

Kate Mulgrew: "Born With Teeth" (Rebroadcast)

Kate Mulgrew, who stars as "Red" in the Netflix TV series "Orange Is The New Black", opens up in a new memoir about her complicated family and the baby she gave away for adoption as a young woman.


Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

Leave a Comment

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