SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Tuesday, more than 60 young activists from across the state rallied at the State Capitol in an effort to convince legislators to lower the voting age to 17.
Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and co-authors of Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8 joined them ahead of a key Assembly Appropriations Committee vote.
"We haven't revisited the voting age in 48 years," said Bella Robakowski, President of Never Again SoCal, a gun violence prevention organization.
"I think when we lowered the voting age it was because we were sending people off to die for their country, and we wanted them to get a chance to vote in their democracy before they went off to war," Robakowski said.
She believes high school students should have a say in issues such as immigration, climate change, and gun control reform.
"Right now, we have kids dying in their schools, churches, mosques – their Walmart's – and in my home town it was our local country bar, Borderline," Robakowski explained.
ACA 8 supporters say one of the reasons young voters typically have the lowest turnout rate is because 18-year-olds are experiencing a time of transition – whether that's starting college or finding a job.
"We want to provide access and we don't want to blame young people for not getting out to vote when they turn 18, so let's bring it back a little," said Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). "Let's give them a stable time to start that voting process. We know the sooner you cast that first vote, the more likely you are to be a lifelong voter."
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