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Lowell Students Petition For Lower Voting Age

Students in Lowell are pushing to lower the city's voting age to 17 for municipal elections.

Susan Le, 16, is a sophomore at Lowell High School. Le said letting 17-year-olds vote would make students more civically engaged, and would help represent immigrant parents who can't vote.

"They're Lowell's first generation, so if we lower it to 17, then a lot of their families' voices can be included and counted too," Le said.

Sophomore Carline Kirksey, also 16, said letting 17-year-olds vote would increase turnout with a population affected by voting issues.

"When you're 18, you're off in college and you're not really tied to your community, and when you're 17 you're in your community, and so you're going to be voting for what's affecting you, which is the school committee and the city council," Kirksey said.

State lawmakers will hear arguments for and against the home rule petition at a hearing Wednesday. If passed, the city would decide by a ballot vote whether to lower the voting age.

This program aired on April 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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