Debate Magazine

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? California to Consider Allowing 16 Year Olds to Vote

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

No. Just. No.


Only in California. There is a bill before the Legislature would amend California’s constitution to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to cast ballots exclusively in school district and community college board elections.  This is because, proponents argue, these are the very races in which the kids have the most at stake. Thankfully, they still wouldn’t be able to vote in  congressional or legislative contests or help pick the next president.

Lorena Gonzalez

Lorena Gonzalez

The Sacramento Bee reports that the woman behind this is Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (Democrat, San Diego). She said, “I think they’re mature enough and they have firsthand experience of what’s going on in schools – they should have a voice in it. The decisions that are made at local school boards and community college boards are affecting them probably more than anything else.”

Gonzalez also said her then-high-school-age daughter was frustrated that she had no say when teachers were laid off during the recession. Gonzalez noted that extra dollars flow to school districts with a large number of English language learners, many of whom have noncitizen parents who can’t vote in elections that help determine how that money will be spent.

Gonzalez called her proposal a way to encourage more participation. California Voter Foundation head Kim Alexander agreed with that premise.

“If people can vote on something relevant to them when they’re 16 years old, they might develop a lifelong habit of voting, and if you get kids voting when they’re still in school, then you have an institution through which you can teach them how to become voters,” said Alexander, whose organization has not taken a formal position on the bill.

Not everyone is on board with this idea. Jon Fleischman, a conservative blogger and political consultant, said enfranchising adolescents would not lead to better election outcomes. “Part of determining the age by which people vote has to do with a combination of maturity and life experience. I think somebody at the age of 16 years old is really a child, not an adult,” Fleischman said. “This is not an age at which you’re ready to be making weighty decisions about public policy.”

Read the whole story here.

Every Communist’s dream: a public education indoctrination institution teaching the kids how to become voters. You know the teachers would give them a bias and liberal slant on just how to vote.


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