When the polls open this November in Takoma Park, Md., a new set of voters, 16- and 17-year-olds, will be casting their ballots for the first time.
The city council in Takoma Park, population 17,000, approved an amendment by 6-1 on Monday to lower the voting age from 18 to 16.
“We have young residents who have lived here their whole lives and are interested in being engaged,” Councilman Tim Male told ABCNews.com.
Male estimated the new amendment would expand the city’s voting base by a few hundred more people. He said he hoped it would encourage teenagers to get involved in the civic process.
“If a lot of people establish a voting habit early in life, they’ll continue to vote,” Male said.
“We have something like 20 percent turnout in our average city election,” he said. “I would be really thankful if 20 percent of [the teens] turn out.”
Under 18s will not be able to vote in national and state elections, however.
City Council members also agreed on Monday to expand the voting base to include convicted felons who have served their time.