SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California may once again try to lower the voting age from 18 to 17.
Assemblymembers Evan Low (D- 28th District) and Randy Voepel (R- 71st District) introduced a Constitutional Amendment Monday.
Asm. Low introduced the same Amendment in 2017 but it didn’t advance.
Currently, those who are 16 can register to vote. In 22 other states and the District of Columbia, 17-year-old’s can vote in a primary if they will turn 18 before a general election. Similar legislation didn’t advance in California.
In 2017 Generation Citizen wrote in support of the Amendment:
“Like many states, California suffers from low voter participation. Extending voting rights to 17-year-olds can spur long-term increase in turnout, because voting is habitual, and research shows that age 17 is a better time than 18 to establish that habit. California has already taken important steps to encourage youth engagement, including allowing 16-year-olds to preregister to vote and establishing High School Voter Education Weeks. ACA 10 builds on these efforts with a solution that has proven effective in the dozen countries that allow voting by citizens under age 18, and in the municipalities in the United States that have taken such a step. Many young adults’ first contact with the political process is in their high school
government class. But these classes risk falling short by teaching young people how government works without any ability to actually participate in it. ACA 10 ensures students can translate their civic knowledge into action. Many 18-year-old’s are in a time of intense transition, but at 17, young people can cast their crucial first votes at a time when they are still connected to their school, home, and community. “
The 26th Amendment of the US Constitution grants voting rights to those 18 and older.