Boston City Council Approves Petition to Allow 16-Year-Olds to Vote in Municipal Elections

The Boston City Council approved a petition on Wednesday to allow 16-year-olds to vote in municipal elections.

The left-wing city council backed the petition by a vote of 9-4 that would allow 16 and 17-year-old Boston residents to vote if they meet other legal qualifications, according to the Boston Herald. The petition only covers municipal elections, not state and federal.

To become law, the petition will next head to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s (D) desk, and if approved, it will go to the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts state legislature for approval.

The Herald noted that several Massachusetts municipalities have moved on similar voting petitions, but all have never made it past the state legislature. Those municipalities include Ashfield, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Lowell, Northampton, Shelburne, Somerville, and Wendell.

A bill was also introduced in the state legislature to lower the voting age last year, but it never gained traction.

City Councilor Erin Murphy, who voted against the petition, stated that she is concerned about lowering the voting age due to privacy concerns since records of those who vote are public. She is also worried that their voting habits could be manipulated.

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