Should California Lower the Voting Age?
Without question, voter turnout in California has been too low – especially for certain demographic groups such as young people. It is an unequivocal fact that higher voter turnout amongst all demographics leads to policy that better reflects the universal needs of Californians.
For this reason, a measure has been put forward that aims to broaden the civic participation of young people by lowering the voting age, with the intention of making our state democracy healthier and more reflective of California’s communities.
My question to you: do you think this is the right approach?
I think we can all agree on increased voter participation, but I understand how we get there may spark debate. Below I will summarize the arguments for and against this measure and provide an opportunity for you to weigh in and share what you think on this issue.
Your time and participation is deeply appreciated.
Assemblymember, 43rd District
ACA 8 – Should California Lower the Voting Age?
ACA 8 would officially lower the voting age in California to 17 years of age.
Argument in favor: Many young adults’ first contact with the political process comes in a high school government class. But these classes risk falling short by teaching young people how government works without any ability to actually participate in it. ACA 8 ensures students can translate their civic knowledge into action. Many 18-year olds are in a time of intense transition, but at 17, young people can cast their crucial first votes at a time when they are still connected to their school, home, and community.
Argument opposed: 17-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 were they to be allowed to vote.