Proposition 18 is on the ballot this year. It is a proposition that may allow 17-year-old citizens to vote in primary and special elections, as long as they turn 18 and are eligible by the time of the general election.
Voting yes on proposition 18 means that 17-year-old citizens can vote in the primary election, as long as they turn 18 by the time of the next general election.
Voting no on proposition 18 means that only citizens 18 years of age and older can vote.
At least 19 states and Washington, D.C. already allow 17-year-olds to vote as long as they are of age by the next general election.
Jodi Balma, Fullerton College’s Political Science professor and member of the League of Women Voters, believes that it’s extremely important for Proposition 18 to pass because it allows 17-year-olds to start with a primary election and it also allows them to see who the candidates are.
Voting for the first time can be an overwhelming process because there is so much information to retain about candidates and propositions, so allowing some of the younger generation to receive that head start can impact them positively.
According to Voter Guide, a site that informs people of the different propositions states that Proposition 18 can increase statewide costs. It can range anywhere from thousands of dollars to $1 million.
Yes, that is a large amount of money but allowing this younger generation to be able to make an impact in this upcoming election is much more significant than whatever the cost may be.
This proposition is only newly introduced to the state of California, so the state of California is able to see the fiscal impact it has had on the states that have already implanted this proposition.
As Balma puts it, “democracy has a cost, and I’m perfectly willing to pay it.”
An opposing view against the proposition states that 17-year-olds are heavily influenced by their superiors, such as parents or teachers.
As most know, teenagers are notoriously known to rebel or have opposing views from their superiors so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The oppositions against this proposition aren’t compelling.
If teenagers are allowed to drive at the age of 16 and enroll in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard at the age of 17, why not allow them to be able to vote?
Enrolling in the military or obtaining a driver’s permit seems as if that can be a bit more destructive over being able to vote.
Some advice that Balma stresses is that it’s important for everyone to know, not just 17-year-olds, who they’re voting for.
Vote yes on Prop 18.