Should 17 Year Olds Be Allowed to Vote?

California legislators are considering two Assembly Constitutional Amendments (ACA) that would lower the voting from 18 to 17. ACA 4 and ACA 8 have both made it out of committee and will be voted on this year. If they pass, 17-year-olds will be able to vote as soon as the primary.  

There are several good reasons to pass this law. As 17-year-olds, kids are already able to make major life decisions such as determine which colleges to apply to and enlist in the military. So it begs the question, can and should the age be lowered?  

Lowering the age is probably a good thing. The only thing that concerns me is the apathy. Will they vote? It does also bring up an opportunity to amplify voter education and increase voter turnout. It’s great to consider increasing the voter pool by allowing younger voters, but we have a serious problem getting folks to vote in this country. Despite the fact that voting has been made relatively easy, participation has been horrifically low. I’d like to see the legislature address the issue of voter participation. Perhaps passing a law that gives voters a workday/school day pass for proof they voted, the stub of the ballot with a verified acceptance from the county registrar would be good.

I say yes. Let the 17-year-olds vote. 

What do you think?
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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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