The City of San Francisco will let the voters decide – a new amendment WILL be on the ballot in November.
“Regardless of whether this measure is approved or not, San Francisco is starting a trend that will happen across the country, where cities like ours will consider this…” Supervisor John Avalos, who championed the measure, said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
The board voted 9-2 to add the new proposal to the November ballot. Several who had previously been opposed have had a change of heart.
The measure would allow people as young as 16 to vote in city elections.
Dozens of young people testified at the meeting in support of the measure, and the argument was also given that lowering the voting age would get people involved in the election process earlier, which could make them habitual voters.
The two city supervisors who voted against the measure said age limitations on current laws are a “patchwork system” that doesn’t make sense. “We want to lower the age to vote to 16, but Governor Brown just raised the age limit to purchase tobacco to 21.”
They are also concerned that lowering the voting age could give rise to more 16 and 17-year-olds being treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” where, for the most part, authorities don’t ask a person’s legal status. The board briefly addressed this issue, and agreed to take up the discussion again on May 24.
In an even more radical proposal, city council members in Washington, D.C. are considering legislation to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in FEDERAL elections.
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