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Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

Meet the Staff
Sarah Masterson
Sarah Masterson
News Design Editor

Sarah Masterson is a senior at Free State. This is Sarah's second year on staff and she is the Design Editor for the newspaper. Outside of Journalism, she is involved on the volleyball team, swim team,...

EDITORIAL: Age Cutoff for Political Office

Upcoming election sparks concerns about aging candidates
Illustration+by+Geneva+Sabatini.
Illustration by Geneva Sabatini.

When the new generation of voters make their way to the polls and step into the voting box, the few names printed onto their ballot will all be over half a century older than them. 

Despite the average American age of 39 years, the average presidential candidate age is 63 years old according to CBS news. Boomers only make up 4.7% of the population, but are the highest demographic registered to vote. The options on the ballot are not an accurate representation of what the population makes up. 

New voters have found their lack of power in the recent elections discouraging– many even opting out of voting at all. 

The 2022 census saw the highest gen-z voter registration, surpassing the amount of registered gen-x and millennials voters. Ultimately, the boomers in office are not the ones who will see the long-term consequences of the choices they make in office. In events like the overturning of Roe V. Wade and the approval of the Willow Project, modern and traditional values clash.

In 2020 the current president, Joseph Biden, was elected at age 77 and became the oldest president in US history when he turned 80 in office. With both leading candidates reaching above 80 if elected, we’re only setting the record higher. 

Therefore, it is fundamental to put a max age on presidential candidates. 

Despite making up 4.7 percent of the population, senior citizens make up the highest demographic of registered voters. Additionally, boomer’s wealth control creates an imbalance of power at the polls. According to NasDaq, Boomers hold half of the wealth in the U.S. while Millennials and Gen Z struggle to find jobs and pay off student loans. More than ever before, boomers are the only generation with the resources to run.

Illustration by Geneva Sabatini.

Despite being the generation with the most political power, the knowledge of their generation becomes farther from the world they’re currently leading. 

When Biden was born in 1942, World War II would still be going on for three more years. In the decades between the candidates and young voters in age, many cultural shifts have occurred. For example, Biden has repeatedly referred to current European leaders by the name of their dead predecessors. 

The memory slip ups both Trump and Biden have been exhibiting has caused voters to not only question the candidate’s cultural awareness but also question whether the two’s age are catching up to them. According to the National Institute of Health, one in seven Americans over the age of  71 have been diagnosed with dementia. 

Because of the health risks associated with aging, candidates should be prohibited from running over the age of 66, so they don’t reach 70 in office. 

Being in the new generation of American voters, it is essential for our government to represent us. In future years, it is crucial candidates be more reflective of the next generation’s values and beliefs.

About the Contributors
Evie Chancy
Evie Chancy, News Planning Team
Evie Chancy is a sophomore and a reporter for Free State Journalism. Outside of journalism, she is involved with debate, forensics, the writing center, and many clubs. When she's not in school, she loves dressing up and making clothing.
Phoebe Morris
Phoebe Morris, News Planning Team
Phoebe Morris is a sophomore at Free state. This is her second year reporting on staff. Outside of school, she enjoys dancing at the Arts Center or watching horror movies with a bowl of ice cream.
Maria Mosconi
Maria Mosconi, News Planning Team
Maria Mosconi is a sophomore reporter for Free State Journalism and it is her second year on staff. Otherwise, she spends her time doing ballet, hanging with friends, and learning to parallel park.
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