Bill to Lower Voting Age to 17 Clears First Hurdle, Gains Co-Authors and Support
ACA 8 passed the Assembly Elections Committee and gained 21 new co-authors.
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 8 by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), which would lower the voting age in California to 17-years-old, passed the Assembly Elections & Redistricting Committee last Wednesday.
The bill, sponsored by the California League of Conservation Voters, enjoys bipartisan support. Since its introduction, over 50 organizations and individuals have expressed their support for the bill, including the League of Women Voters of California, Equality California, March for Our Lives California, NextGen California, Rock the Vote, the Courage Campaign, and the Sierra Club California.
“Young people are the leading voices on addressing the climate crisis,” said Mary Creasman, CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters. “They’ve organized, they’ve marched, and they want to have a say in who represents them in government. There could not be a more critical time to empower youth with the right to vote.”
ACA 8 would enfranchise California 17-year-olds in order to engage young people earlier in the electoral process. Research has shown that the earlier in life a person votes, the more likely they are to form a lifelong habit of voting. Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed support for the idea of lowering the voting age in March 2019 and 126 Members of Congress voted earlier this year in support of an amendment to H.R. 1 to lower the minimum voting age.
“I am thrilled that our movement to lower the voting age has generated so much momentum,” said Assemblymember Evan Low. “Voters in California are ready for bold ideas in order to reinvigorate participation in our democracy.”
If passed by the State Assembly and Senate, ACA 8 will appear on the November 2020 ballot for voter approval. ACA 8 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.