Allow kids to vote? Some adults in Germany think it would be the right thing to do.


No, 3-year-old Zackary Lea didn’t really vote; he just helped his mom back on election day after she voted in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/Getty Images)
January 15, 2013

KidsPost readers, do you think you should be able to vote in local, state and national elections?

If you answered “Yes!,” you might want to think about moving to Germany.

That’s because a high-ranking official in the German government has called for letting kids vote. “We must give children a voice — in elections as well,” said Dirk Niebel, minister of economic cooperation and development.

Germany has about 13 million people younger than 18. Niebel says denying voting rights to children is as “absurd” as it would be to deny them to people older than 65 years old.

Of course, there’s also the question of at what age kids should be allowed to vote. Niebel proposed that parents could supervise their children’s voting and even vote for them.

Thomas Kruger, president of a group representing the rights of children in Germany, said he could see 16-year-olds or even 14-year-olds being allowed to vote. Other people have said that studies show that children can be interested in politics as early as third grade and therefore should have a chance to express their opinions at the polling place. (Right now, you must be 18 to vote in national elections in Germany and the United States.)

What do you think?

Send your opinion on whether kids should be allowed to vote — and why, and at what age — to kidspost@washpost.com . Put “voting” in the subject line. Please include your name, age, home town and a phone number where we can reach you; a parent needs to include a sentence in the e-mail giving you permission to send us your opinion. Always ask a grown-up before going online.

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