What is California Prop. 18? Measure would let some 17-year-olds vote

Friday, October 30, 2020
What is California Prop. 18?
California's Proposition 18 on the November ballot would allow 17-year-olds to vote in special elections and primaries if they will reach 18 by the next general election.

Proposition 18 would get more young voters involved in the election process by allowing first-time voters to participate in a full election cycle.

A yes vote on Proposition 18 passes a constitutional amendment allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and special elections if they will turn 18 by the next general election.

The national voting age was 21 until 1971 when the U.S. Constitution's 26th Amendment was ratified, which said the right to vote for 18-year-olds shall not be denied or abridged.

Prop. 18 expands voting rights to 17-year-olds so legislators believe it is constitutional.

The argument for the measure is to increase youth civic engagement and create lifelong voters.

Opponents say the voting age should not be lowered because logic and reasoning are not fully developed at that age. Most 17-year-olds are living at home under the strong influence of parents and teachers, critics say, and less likely to be independent thinkers.

If Prop. 18 is approved, California would join 18 other states and Washington D.C. allowing some 17-year-olds to vote in primaries.