Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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North Dakota Proposes New Age Limit for Political Positions

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North Dakota Proposes New Age Limit for Political Positions

North Dakota Proposes New Age Limit for Political Positions

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The 2024 presidential elections are fast approaching, and the two strongest contenders are currently aged 78 and 81. The most tolerated of the two has issues with his memory but is bent on returning for a second term, heightening the questions surrounding the age of politicians.
A North Dakota ballot question that will run in the summer of 2024 will decide whether there should be a political upper age limit for those interested in running for political positions.

The Age Limit 

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According to reports, North Dakota is proposing that the upper age limit for prospective politicians be 81.
This age limit will affect those eying a position in the US House of Representatives or Senate if they will be turning 81 before the last three days of getting elected.

Lower Age Limits for Holding Office

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As the debate continues, many people have been pointing out that while there is currently no upper age limit for holding office, there are lower age limits.
The minimum age to become president is 35, 30 to serve in the Senate, and 25 to serve in the House of Representatives.

Other Industries Have Mandatory Retirement in Place 

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Politics is not the only industry to have a mandatory retirement age in place. There are other industries that also have mandatory retirement ages.
Good examples are air traffic controllers, airplane pilots, and roles within the military. They all have various mandatory retirement ages.

Some Think This Is Age Discrimination

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Despite there being lower age limits for politicians, some are saying that imposing an upper age limit crosses into age discrimination territory. According to NPR, S. Jay Olshansky said that while he understands that the older you get, the more risks there are of things going wrong, he doesn’t get how you can set an exact age at which politicians would have to retire. “It’s just simply age discrimination,” he said.

A Senator Died Working

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Senator Dianne Feinstein was 90 when she died but she had still been in office at that point.
Feinstein first entered the US Senate in 1992 and had been serving for over 30 years. She was in her sixties when she first started.

Most Americans Favor an Upper Age Limit

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According to a poll run by the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans are in favor of an upper age limit being placed on politicians.
A total of 79% of Americans were in favor of upper age limits for those serving in Washington D.C., and 74% were in favor of upper age limits in the Senate.

The Matter of Performance

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There is little doubt an older politician might be more experienced than someone younger, but this doesn’t always mean they are the right candidate for the job.
CBS News ran a poll with YouGov, which revealed that most Americans believe politicians over the age of 75 are more likely to be out of touch with what most of the public wants. They also share concerns about an older politician’s ability to do the job well.

There May Be a Change in the Constitution 

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One obstacle to creating an upper age limit for politicians would be placing a change in the Constitution.
For this to succeed, two-thirds of US states would have to request the change. Unfortunately, most proposed amendments to the Constitution rarely succeed.

Americans Prefer a President in Their 50's

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Pew Research Center carried out a study in which they asked US citizens from the ages of 18 to 70 what their preferred age for a president would be.
Almost every age group chose a president in their 50s, with some of the runner-ups being presidents in their 40s and 60s. Barely anyone in any age group said they would like a president in their 30s or aged 70 and over.

There Will Be a Vote Based on a Petition

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According to the Dickinson Press, there is a petition that was created to allow the public to vote on having an upper age limit for politicians.
The North Dakota Secretary of State Office accepted 32,370 signatures from the petition, as 9,700 had been ruled invalid. The required threshold is 31,146, so this means they will move to a vote.

Age Doesn’t Always Determine Efficiency

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It is important to remember in all of this that a person’s age doesn’t always determine how fit they are for office.
Some people who are over 80 might be perfectly fit to hold office and do so efficiently, whereas others might struggle due to age-related factors. With North Dakota, only time will tell how voting will turn out and whether the vote will affect the rest of the US political state.