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Prop 18: Voting Reform for a Younger Generation

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Palmdale, CA – The voting age in California may be lowered to 17 if Proposition 18 passes. Voters will need to turn 18 by the time of the general election to participate in the primaries. Some 17-year-olds like Joshua Sims do not think they should be allowed to.

Photo, Bryce Wayne

Sims is a student athlete who thinks he and his classmates do not have the mental maturity to vote.

“To the people who say I should make those decisions, I think they are wrong. I think we are not mature enough,” said Sims. “And when you turn 18 or 17, you’re truly not an adult. So, I think we need to first mature to even make those decisions.”

Those older than Sims have a different opinion. English teacher John Purcell thinks if a 17-year-old is paying attention to the primary election, they are mature enough to vote.

“I think that the 17-year-olds who are going to go through the trouble of registering early and doing this, I think those 17-year-old will be just fine with it,” said Purcell.

Opponents of Proposition 18 say giving a vote to a legal minor is just another vote for their parents or teachers.

“I saw that argument and I thought that’s someone who doesn’t really know 17-year-olds,” said Purcell. “Generally speaking, at 17 they have their own mind and they’re going to use it.”

Opponents also take issue with the financial impact. If passed, the number of additional ballots being sent out can cost up to $1 million every election cycle. Additionally, there will be a price to update the voter system.

The proposition is supported by the California Democratic Party, including Governor Gavin Newsom. It is opposed by the California Republican Party.

Proposition 18 is one of 12 state measures being voted on for the 2020 general election.

Video, ABC10 Sacramento

Video, Bryce Wayne

By Bryce Wayne

With Contributions from The LA Times and Ballotpedia

Photo, Bryce Wayne

Video, ABC 10 Sacramento

Video, Bryce Wayne


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