Hyattsville has become the second municipality in the country to lower the voting age for city elections to 16, nearly two years after its progressive neighbors in Takoma Park took similar steps. During a public meeting Monday night, residents young and old packed into City Hall to speak overwhelmingly in support of council member Patrick Paschall’s measure to extend voting rights to more city residents. The council voted 7 to 4 in favor of amending the city charter.
“This measure sends a message to the rest of the state and country that Hyattsville is a great place to live with an engaged community that wants to see our community at its very best,” Paschall (Ward 3) said in a statement.
Based on census estimates, the council member estimated that between 200 and 250 teenagers in the Prince George’s County city will be eligible to vote in May’s municipal elections because of the age change. There are about 10,000 registered voters in the city. Before the vote, several residents said the question should be put on a ballot rather than left to the council.