26 Oct PROP 18–17 YEAR OLD VOTING RIGHTS –VOTE YES
By Community Coalition’s Member-Led Political Education Committee:
Pastor Byron Smith
Primary Voting for 17-year-olds Amendment
Amends California constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 by the next general election and be otherwise eligible to vote.
Kevin Mullin (D) – Assemblymember
Alex Padilla (D) – Secretary of State
The Election Integrity Project California
Pros: Young people whose birthdays fall between the primary [and] general election are currently at a disadvantage to those who are permitted to vote in the primaries. Without full exposure to the election process, they are unable to submit their most educated vote in the general election. This Assembly Constitutional Amendment would ensure that a greater number of citizens voting in the general election have the resources and experience they need to provide the vote that best matches their own values. [Source]
Cons: 17-year-olds are legal minors. Under that definition, they are still considered children. They are almost all still living at home and under the strong influence of their parents. This is not conducive to independent thought and voting without undue pressure from their immediate family members. Seventeen year-olds will almost always still be in high school, and under the strong influence of their teachers. This again makes it less likely that they would be expressing their own, independently thought-out choices while voting.” [Source]
Why Does It Matter To South LA?
Our youth’s voices should be heard! Seventeen-year-olds should be allowed to participate in democracy and be allowed to vote for school board members and on other issues that affect them. Prop 18 encourages earlier political education/awareness. This can lead to a positive shift in earlier organizing and activism.