Rockville could lower voting age to 16 this year

Is 16 years old too young to vote? That's the question voters in Rockville may get to decide later this year.

Rockville's Charter Review Commission unanimously recommended lowering the voting age to 16 and allowing anyone who has been a resident of the City of Rockville for six months preceding a municipal election without regard to citizenship.

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Other changes could include expanding the council from four to six members, creating voting districts and enacting term limits. All this is aimed at increasing representation.

Rockville's City Clerk Sara Taylor Ferrell tells FOX 5 that young people already help out in Montgomery County as poll workers, and allowing them to vote could increase participation in politics and turn them into regular voters moving forward.

"They do come in, they help, and they are very interested, and we have what we call ‘youth commissions’ in our high schools, and they are really engaged," says Ferrell.

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Takoma Park became the first city nationwide to lower its voting age from 18 to 16. In Prince George's County, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park and Mount Rainier also allow 16-year-olds to vote.

A hearing is expected next month, and Ferrell says voters will likely decide this in a referendum this year.