changes to democracy

Should the voting age be lowered from 18 to 16?

Yes

Yes, supports

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton supported a failed amendment to the For the People Act that would have lowered the voting age to 16 for federal elections.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. Ryan supported a failed amendment to the For the People Act that would have lowered the voting age to 16 for federal elections.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. Swalwell supports lowering the voting age for federal elections, he told The Post. “I recently voted on an amendment to H.R. 1 to allow those 16 and older to vote in federal elections.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. Yang supports lowering the voting age, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Open to it

Open to it

Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

"I’m not sold on that but I think we could have the debate," Buttigieg told the Intercept. "Look the rationale from 21 to 18 made a lot of sense, young Americans who were old enough to be sent to war but weren’t allowed to vote. I think a lot of things change at 18 that are different things that change at 16 but I wouldn’t close off debate on the topic."

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supported a failed amendment to the For the People Act that would have lowered the voting age to 16 for federal elections.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

"I favor doing everything we can to revitalize American democracy and bring more people into the political process," Sanders told The Post. "In terms of lowering the voting age I would be interested in seeing if there is interest in that at the local and state level, and how that plays out."

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “I am willing to consider this issue,” Bullock told The Post. “We should create more opportunities for young people to pre-register.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro is open to lowering the voting age, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio is open to lowering the voting age, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. "I support local experimentation, such as the steps some localities have made to allow 16 year olds to vote on school board elections," Hickenlooper told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. "I am proud that Washington state has adopted early voting registration for 16 and 17-year olds," Inslee told The Post. "Having marched with young students striking on climate, I know this generation’s commitment and determination when it comes to fighting climate change. This is a new idea that I would think about."

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. "We should look into that and harnessing the full energy, interest and input of young people who are leading this country in so many ways and on so many issues," O'Rourke told The Post. His voting rights plan calls for “pre-registration for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak is open to lowering the voting age, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. Williamson is open to lowering the voting age, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

No

No, does not support

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer does not support lowering the voting age, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. Delaney does not support lowering the voting age, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Mike Bloomberg

Former New York mayor

“As president, [Bloomberg] will clean up the mess in Washington by making political reform a top priority,” his campaign website said. “He’ll work with Congress to overhaul the campaign finance system, stop pay-to-play, bring transparency to dark money, strengthen ethics and regulations around conflicts of interest, and improve access to the ballot – all of which he succeeded in doing as mayor of New York City.” His campaign did not clarify his position by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question. She co-sponsored the PROVE Act, to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. Bennet co-sponsored the PROVE Act, to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. He did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. Booker did not provide an answer to this question. He co-sponsored the PROVE Act, to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question. She co-sponsored the PROVE Act, to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. “[W]e will establish a competitive grant program administered by a revitalized and revamped Election Assistance Commission to award funding to states and municipalities that commit to making pro-voting reforms,” Patrick's democracy agenda said. “The program will reward states that engage in reforms such as ... pre-registration of young people below the age of 18.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Deval Patrick
Patrick

Hover for more information

Tap for info

ShowHide former candidates

Background Most Democratic candidates have not announced support for allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether it supports various changes to the Senate filibuster, U.S. elections and courts. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

Curious about where candidates stand on another policy? Fill out this suggestion form.

Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.