OPINION: Prop 18 shapes positive habit in young voters

Produced in collaboration with City College history students

OPINION: Prop 18 shapes positive habit in young voters

City Times Staff, Editor

The below opinion piece was created in collaboration with students in the history classes of Professor Susan Hasegawa.

Proposition 18 amends the California Constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections, with the expectation they will turn 18 by the next general election and otherwise be eligible to vote.

Want to learn more about both sides of Proposition 18?
Visit City Times Guide to Prop 18 here.

Many of those who oppose Proposition 18, including Ruth Weiss and the Election Integrity Project California, believe that a 17-year-old is not well equipped with the necessary logic and reasoning that an 18-year-old and older would have.

They cite laws such as smoking, drinking and tanning as reasons why teens of any age should not become legal voters. It is stated that these types of cognitive abilities are imperative for responsible voting. 

As for the notion of 17-year-olds lacking the cognitive abilities to vote responsibly, we cannot compare apples to oranges when it comes to teenagers who are a couple months away from being legal adults. This gap should not impair the vote of the next generation, nor should it prevent the way of democracy.

Vote yes on Proposition 18 to ensure the vote for young Americans.

Gabrielle Nelson
Biology Major

Proposition 18 would offer voters who are 17 or 18 by the universal election the right to vote in California’s primary elections. Young citizens on the approach of becoming adults deserve a real voice in the world they will receive. Proposition 18 is about letting people participate in the whole election. 

Since the 1980s, 18 states and Washington D.C. have advanced laws to allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the universal election to vote in the primary.

Someone who votes once is more likely to vote again in future elections. For people turning 18, it is much simpler to shape that habit in the spring, when they’re in the last year of high school. 

High school students have also been leaders in many political movements, whether it’s defending the environment or expanding civil rights. I feel that we are more powerful when more of us participate.

Jackie Mendez
Studying Nutrition

Clarification: Students in the history classes of Professor Susan Hasegawa were required to research and draft an opinion piece related to the election. Those choosing to submit to City Times were granted extra credit points.

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