I can't imagine anyone assuming office in a major city at 16. Likewise, 'sweet 16' is too sophomoric to be given the right to vote.

But apparently, that's not how leaders in  Somerville, Massachusetts feel, as they are poised to become the first community in the Commonwealth to have a voting age of 16.

The city council unanimously voted to extend voting rights in local elections to 16-year-olds. According to Mayor Joseph Curtatone, the city has just sent a Home Rule Petition to the State House for approval. I hope our Beacon Hill legislators give it a thumbs down.

A 16-year-old is, for all intents and purposes, a child both in law and in practicality, so juveniles shouldn't be given the right to vote. I don't know what's happened to Somerville. It used to be a pragmatic, level-headed place to raise a family.

I can see why some believe it's a liberal partisan power grab to build up the Democratic vote. But I can't figure out the contradiction of those who want to raise the criminal justice age from 18 to 21 in Massachusetts, arguing teen brains haven't developed yet, and their simultaneous rush to lower the voting age to 16. Something's definitely not adding here.

We have words like youth, minor, and teenager because 16 is not an adult.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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