Proposal Would Lower California Voting Age to 17

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SACRAMENTO — A group of mostly Democratic lawmakers and teenage advocates announced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8 Tuesday on the steps of the Capitol.

The proposal would lower California’s voting age to 17.

Advocates say young voters should have a say in who makes decisions that affect them. They also argue there is a practical reason for allowing people to vote while they are still minors.

“Eighteen is the wrong point. We know that the time to get them and to get them involved in an election is when they’re at home, when they’re in school, when they’re thinking about these issues in a way that’s projecting forward. Not at a time when their life is a little bit in chaos, hopefully going away to college or getting their first job or moving around the state or the country,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.

“And also when you’re 16 and 17 you are taking, whether it’s U.S. history or government econ., you’re taking more civics classes at those ages in high school than at any other age,” said Tyler Okeke with Power California.

The amendment goes before the Assembly Appropriations Committee Wednesday. It would have to be passed by two-thirds of the full Assembly and Senate to make it onto the 2020 ballot.

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