Lowering Voting Age in Mass
In November 2022, the Boston City Council approved a petition to lower the voting age to allow 16 and 17 year olds the ability to vote in their municipal elections. The council voted 9-4 in support of the petition. While this is a step in the right direction, the home rule petition still needs to be signed by Mayor Michelle Wu before it can be passed on to the Massachusetts Legislature.
Back in 2019, state lawmakers introduced the EMPOWER Act, which consisted of twin bills (H 720 and S 389) which would give municipal governments the power to lower the voting age without seeking a home rule petition. This act sat at the Joint Committee on Election Laws for a year, and eventually no action was taken.
Read below to find out what will happen if the current petition makes it through the Legislature: