Sixteen and 17 year olds in Hyattsville will get to enjoy the right to vote in municipal elections, and may even be able to run for office. The Hyattsville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to give final approval on lowering the voting age in municipal elections from 18 to 16, joining Takoma Park, which became the first municipality in the country to lower its voting age in 2013. With the decision, 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to vote in Hyattsville’s May 5 municipal elections for mayor and City Council. Another charter amendment, which would have set the minimum age to run for office at 18, failed 5-5. Councilwoman Paula Perry (Ward 4) was absent.
The charter currently states that anyone eligible to vote in Hyattsville’s municipal elections is eligible to run, said Hyattsville City Clerk Laura Reams.
Hyattsville Councilman Joseph Solomon (Ward 5) rejected setting an age limit. “I believe that if you are 16 or 17, and you now have a right to vote, then you should have the right to vote for yourself,” Solomon said.