California Proposition 18: Lowering The Legal Voting Age | KALW

California Proposition 18: Lowering The Legal Voting Age

Jul 27, 2020

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Proposition 18 proposes to allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election if the voter will turn 18 by the time of the general election.

At least 18 other states have made similar changes to their election laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California lawmakers already agreed to amend the state’s constitution in June to allow younger voters to participate. However, constitutional amendments have to be approved by a majority of you, the voters.

The California Association of Student Councils, a K-12 student leader development group, and the League of Women Voters have both endorsed the proposal.

Supporters argue that many public policy decisions impact young people, so more of them should have an opportunity to have a real say. They also argue that young voters will be more civically engaged both now and later in life if they get in the habit of voting earlier. As it stands, only about a third of registered voters between 18 and 24 cast a ballot in the 2016 primary election in California.

Opponents of Proposition 18, such as the Election Integrity Project California, argue that 17-year-olds are still children and likely to be influenced by their parents and teachers.

If you think 17-year-olds, who will be eligible to vote in the general election should be able to participate in that year’s primary, vote "Yes" on Prop 18.

If you think they’re too young to think independently about issues and candidates on the primary ballot, vote "No."