Californian Lawmaker Proposes Lowering the State’s Voting Age to 17

in this file image, voters cast their ballots at a polling station in Alhambra on Nov. 4, 2014. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

California would become the first state in the nation to fully allow 17-year-olds to vote in elections under a proposal introduced on Tuesday in the Legislature.

“We want to expand the opportunity,” said Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), author of the constitutional amendment that would have to be approved by a statewide vote in 2018.

Although other states allow 17-year-old citizens to vote in a primary as long as they will be 18 by the time of the general election, the proposal introduced by Low and a bipartisan group of young legislators would empower younger voters to cast ballots.

Low said 18-year-olds are often in a transition phase between high school and living on their own, and that voting habits begin early.

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