What is a study?
Study makes action possible. During the study phase, members have an opportunity to examine the facts, along with key pro and con arguments. They are encouraged to discuss the political realities of action on that issue and to engage members of the broader community in the discussion. Study gives members the knowledge that makes League action uniquely credible. Learn more about the League study process here.
Voting Age Study:
How did we decide to start this study? This issue came to the League’s attention because young people are interested in voting. In 2021, a group of young organizers asked the LWVME to support them by testifying on bills to lower the voting age that they had submitted to the Maine Legislature (LD 706 and LD 1051). LWVME offered testimony neither for nor against because the board determined that LWVME doesn’t have a position on this topic. We are now asking our members to help us determine that position so that we will have an advocacy position when the issue comes before the Legislature again.
Consensus meetings have started on the League's Voting Age Study. Now is the time to dive into the Voting Age Study as we prepare as an organization to develop our position on lowering the voting age. We ask that you: 1.) Read the study and 2.) Read the Consensus questions. This Consensus Question Packet is an integral part of the LWVME’s latest study on the evidence surrounding a call to lower the voting age. While this topic often elicits an immediate opinion either for or against, we are asking all members to approach this issue with an open mind and to carefully review the study committee’s research report and, time permitting, some of the suggested readings.
Read the Consensus Questions here.
- Local League chapters hold meetings to read through and discuss the study guide.
- Chapters discuss consensus questions and decide how they feel: do they want to endorse or oppose lowering the voting age?
- Chapters vote on which position to take.
- This decision to endorse/oppose is brought to the LWVME board, who writes the official position for the League.
- The position will be introduced at Convention on June 3. League members will vote to adopt the position, and then it's set in stone. Can't get more official than that!
- I want to participate! How do I do that? It's great to see folks get involved with the League's democratic process. If you want to participate, we encourage you to sign up for a meeting hosted by the state League or your local League chapter. Meetings will be posted to this page as well. That said, in order to vote during the process, you must be a member. Skip to question 2 to learn more.
- How do I become a member so that I can vote? Membership in the League of Women Voters is open to people of all genders, backgrounds, and political beliefs who are age 16 or older and who agree with our foundational principles. There are memberships at different levels, we don't want the cost of membership to be a barrier to your participation, so choose the level that works best for you. Click here to get started.
- What happens after the study? Depending on the consensus that these study groups reach, and if the new position is approved during the June 3 Convention, the League will have a brand new position for future advocacy and education outreach and if a bill to lower the voting age is introduced in the Maine Legislature. Because the study is a thorough and democratic process, with hours of research poured into the study guide, the position is rock solid. Legislators also often use the League studies to help form their own positions on legislation. That's how vital these studies are!