Proposition 18 is a constitutional amendment that would allow 17 year olds who will be 18 at the time of the general election (and otherwise eligible to vote) to vote in primary and special elections in that same cycle. Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws allowing 17 year olds to vote in primaries.
Approximately 350,000 Californians turn 18 between March primary and November general elections. What if, before they graduate high school, their classroom experience promoted civic engagement in the form of first-time voting?
In the 2016 California primary election, only about a third of 18-24 year old registered voters cast a ballot. Proposition 18 would help ensure those students enter adulthood with the opportunity to ensure that their voices are heard and officially counted.
Lifelong voting habits develop when we give young people the chance to vote in the full election cycle in their first year of voting.
It is not hyperbole to say that this youth vote proposition might not exist but for the work of United Way. Several years ago, the Education Team piloted “Youth Vote” efforts, working to engage students in school board elections and also help them be represented on the school board itself.
We should venture to increase their civic engagement and give young people the power to vote in both the primary and general elections.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is proud to endorse Proposition 18.
Still have questions? Want to know more about why we support this and other ballot measure? Join us at noon on October 30th for a free webinar to discuss the various ballot measures endorsed by United Way of Greater Los Angeles. More information is available here