Proposition 18 is a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to allow 17 years old’s the opportunity to vote in a primary election of the year they turn 18. The amendment would also include any special elections that might be held.
Here’s how it would work: If a general election is held in November, often times a primary election is held at least 6 months prior. A minor’s birthday would have to be anytime between January and whatever date is the last possible date to register to for the primary election.
In doing so, the young first time voters would get to participate in the entire round of elections for that year. They might feel more connected to the general election if they were part of the decision making in the primary.
The number of young voters could increase if this amendment passes. It could increase the amount of civic involvement among this age group. More importantly this age group is often affected by policy changes just like older voters so therefore they should have a vote.
Most of the arguments against a vote of yes for this amendment is maturity level. The opponents have suggested that 17 year old’s brains are not fully developed and therefore they cannot make informed voting choices. The area where logic and reasoning takes place is the main focus.
However, if this is true then why are 17 year old’s mature enough to enlist in every branch of the military. They are mature enough to fight in wars but not to vote for decisions that affect even their military service.
There are at least 18 other states in the union that allow 17 years old’s to vote, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
There will be a fiscal requirement because voter registration information will need to be updated. But the benefits will far outweigh the cost. So vote yes on Proposition 18 because there’s no real good reason not too.