The 26th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees voting rights to 18-year-olds. A new proposal introduced in the California Legislature would let the state's teens cast their first ballot at age 17, reports The Sacramento Bee.
Assemblyman Kevin Mullin has authored legislation to amend the state Constitution to allow teens who will be 18 by the time the general election arrives to vote in the primary. The South San Francisco Democrat is seeking to bring California law in line with 20 other states that allow such voters to participate in their primaries or caucuses.
"The goal of this legislation is to increase voter participation," Mullin said in a statement. "Most young people's first contact with politics is in their mandatory high school civics class; this is the perfect time to get them engaged and give them some ownership in the process by getting them to vote in primaries."
Not everyone thinks it's such a great idea, reports The Daily Californian, at UC Berkeley. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly opposes this bill on the grounds that voting responsibility should be reserved for those of legal age.
"I don't think we should allow people to vote until they are at a legally responsible age of 18," said Donnelly, a San Bernardino County Republican.
Via The Sacramento Bee and Daily Californian.