A Sophomore Having No Right to Vote
A Sophomore Having No Right to Vote
  • Reporter Lee Sang-hui
  • 승인 2017.05.24 20:36
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2017 Presidential election was held on May. 9. The election schedule was originally scheduled to be held on Dec. 20. However, early election was determined because of the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye. Not every Postechians were able to vote in the election. According to the constitution, person over the age of 19 in American age can vote. In other words, since Koreans have different age system, some freshmen and some sophomores have no right to vote.
Number of people aged 17 years old in American age was 629,629, according to statistics conducted in April, 2016. This means almost 600,000 people could not vote in 2017 presidential election despite that some of their friends could vote. I would like to wish the revise of constitution, allowing all friends in the same Korean age to have the right to vote in the next election.
From where I stand, this is totally nonsense. First of all, under the present system, people in the same Korean age learn same course of study during the schooldays. There are no significant differences in thinking between people, who were born before May 1998 and who were born after that. Moreover, in the case of early admission and early graduation, I do not think there are large gap in experience between a year age difference. Schools where can do early admission/graduation are the schools for the gifted children or science high schools. I am not to say which one is any better, but can certainly conclude that two year experience in those schools is approximately equivalent to three year experience in general high school.
Lastly, there are some debates about lowering the voting age to 18 in American age. Lee Seong-gueon, the representation of Teacher’s Solidarity for Korean Educational Policy, argued that “Among OECD nations, Korea is the only country where the age of 18 cannot vote. We should not treat students like a child.” However he emphasized “There is a precondition to it, that teachers must create participatory educational environment in which students can have group discussions and think freely.” On the other hand, The Korean Federation of Teacher's Associations opponents announced its position that “It should be decided carefully, considering side effects. Additionally, it is hard to think 18 years old can analyze the policy well, since many 18 years old students prepare for an entrance examination.”
In conclusion, pinning out the rightful age for voting is inevitably a controversial subject. Though there may be many other perspectives, I personally hereby suggest that those who have obtained the same education course must have the same right to vote, regardless of his/her age.

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