California Would Join Nearly Half the States in the Country
Sacramento – Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin continues to advocate for 17 year-old primary voting and he is not alone. Currently, there are 23 states plus the District of Columbia that allow 17 year olds to vote in Presidential primaries, provided they will be 18 by the time of the General Election.
“I find it hard to believe that the state of California is behind 23 other states when it comes to this important issue,” Mullin said. “Studies have shown that voting is habit forming and it is a habit worth encouraging. If a voter is going to eligible to vote in a General Election, why wouldn’t we want to allow them to also have a say in who they will be voting for in that election?”
Mullin introduced similar legislation earlier in his tenure, as did his father Gene Mullin, a former high school civics teacher, when he served in the Assembly. Since most young people have their first contact with politics in high school civics or government class, it’s a perfect time to engage them in the political process by allowing them to vote in the primary. ACA 4 would place on the ballot a proposed California Constitutional Amendment, which if approved by the voters, would allow 17 year-olds, who will be 18 by the next general election, to vote in that primary election.
“By now, most people know that I’m someone who is a strong supporter of civic engagement,” Mullin stated. “This bill is about getting more Californians involved in the political process regardless of their party affiliation. It’s not a partisan issue; it’s a civic engagement issue. It’s time that California joined the 23 other states who are ahead of us on this issue.”