Governor Jennifer Granholm
United States of America

Apathy among voters today is a major problem in American democracy. In the 1998 elections, only 36.1% of the voting age population turned out to vote, the lowest percentage since 1942, when America was at war. Even in a presidential election year, 1996, turnout was only 49%. This level of turnout makes building a thriving democracy difficult.

Lowering the voting age to sixteen can be a small but meaningful step in raising voter turnout in the District. A lower voting age, combined with a curriculum designed to teach young people about the political process can increase their interest in voting.

A lower voting age would provide:

• More enthusiasm about politics by the youth which would bring more awareness to nonvoting adults

• Active participation in the political process leading to a lifetime of voting

• A forum to encourage government to deal with the concerns of youth that are inadequately addressed

• Protection for the interests of the youth

• Partnerships between young people and adults which will allow both groups to be better represented by allowing a more accurate number of supporters

We, the undersigned, would like to bring your attention to the following problem, with recommendation(s):

Lower the voting age in the State of Michigan to 16 years old, provided the person has successfully completed and passed a State-approved “Political Process” course.

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