California Proposition 18
By Sachin Kalahasti
Teen girl looking over a notice, representing the possibility of voting early. (San Francisco Chronicle)
It is currently November and the election in America is almost coming to an end. With many people waiting for the arrival of the new President-elect, Joe Biden, after he beat the incumbent Donald Trump, there were other things to watch for. There were many state-wide elections pending with regard to the passage of any new laws. For California, many propositions were decided . However, there is one proposition that is really interesting and even though it is not going to pass, it could have helped California if passed: Proposition 18.
Proposition 18 allows 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections when they are about to turn 18. Proponents think that it is really important for those who are not yet eligible to vote in general elections to have the experience needed by being allowed to vote early. According to Cal Matters, supporters agree with this idea, since it could “increase interest and voter participation among youth.” They also stated, “It’s a simple way to raise the voices of young voters.” Even though this would mean more widespread political views among many different people, some people disagree with this idea.
Cal Matters stated that opponents would argue: “Seventeen-year-olds are still kids.” Their brains are still being developed and when they vote early, they would not be able to make the best decision when voting. They also stated, “These high schoolers may be unduly influenced by teachers or school positions on issues, and many have no real world experience with paying bills, renting or buying a house, or holding down a job.” As people become adults, they are able to understand what changes need to be made and vote accordingly. Even though Governor Gavin Newsom, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, California Association of Student Councils, the California League of Conservation Voters, and the California School Boards Association agree with this proposition, the general public begs to differ. It is reported that Proposition 18 is not going to be passed in California; the requirement of having to be 18 to vote is going to stand.
California will be in a list of states that are not going to allow 17-year-olds to have the right to vote and according to CalMatters: “at least 19 states and Washington D.C. allow 17-year-olds who would be eligible for the next general election to vote early.” This would also mean that Californians will not be seeing young people run for government positions because they would be unregistered voters and according to laws, they are exempt from running for these positions.
Proposition 18 may have been rejected this year, but this does not mean that this issue will never come up again. Time will tell if voters pass this and make it an official law of California. This could determine how different peoples’ views could affect voting if Proposition 18 gets passed in the future.