Rep. Miller calls for lower age requirements to seek political office

Published 10:38 am Monday, March 7, 2016

State Rep. Aaron Miller told a House committee Wednesday that the age requirements to run for state office should be lowered so people already considered legal adults can become involved in state government.

Rep. Miller, R-Sturgis, testified before the House Committee on Elections regarding House Joint Resolution DD, which he introduced last fall. The resolution proposes an amendment to the Michigan Constitution changing the minimum age for seeking a House or Senate seat from 21 to 18, and amending the minimum age to run for governor or lieutenant governor from 30 to 21.

“Given all the other rights and responsibilities that 18-year-olds are given in today’s society, it is just common sense that they should have the right to seek statewide office once they have attained the age of majority,” Rep. Miller said. “Anyone who is a registered voter, meets the residency requirements and has the incentive to seek a statewide office should be encouraged to take part in the political arena. They should not be branded ineligible simply because they are considered too young. That has been the greatest electoral filter in our republic from the beginning of our existence: the voters decide who is qualified for office.”

The resolution also calls for the residency requirement to run for governor or lieutenant governor be reduced from four years to three years.

The committee has taken the resolution under consideration.