California Props 2020

Prop 18 allows almost-18yos to vote in primaries

Published: Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 11:09 PM
Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 12:39 AM
California Props 2020

Prop 18 allows almost-18yos to vote in primaries

Published: Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 11:09 PM
Updated: Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 12:39 AM

Prop 18 would allow 17 year-olds who turn 18 by the general election to vote in elections earlier in the year, like primary or special elections. To be clear, any eligible voter can already pre-register and vote in an election if they'll be 18 by the time they vote. Prop 18 would simply expand which elections a soon-to-be-18yo can cast a vote.

Prop 18 would change the state constitution, which means it has already passed the state assembly and state senate (with Democrats primarily supporting it) and is now presented to all y'all for the final say.

Could it change the outcome of the Presidential race? Probably not, but one analysis found it could change the outcome of local primaries. PPIC analyzed 18yos who did vote in 2016 and 2018 who would have been able to vote in the primaries if Prop 18 been in effect then, and found that over 30 races were close enough that Prop 18 could have changed the outcome.

How many teens would Prop 18 affect? The LAO counts over 100K pre-registered teens this year (those who will be 18 on Election Day and are registered), and PPIC counted over 200K 18yo voters in both 2016 and 2018 who's birthday landed between the primary and general election dates.

Those opposed say that 17yos are still highly influenced by their parents and teachers, and they typically have not been fully employed or paid taxes yet. Opponents also say that teens have plenty of other avenues to exercise politics.

Supporters say that getting teens to vote would result in better civic participation in the long run, pointing to research from other countries.

In addition, because California uses a Top Two primary system for state-level races – where all candidates regardless of party are thrown together and voted on by everyone, and the top two vote-getters continue into the general election – supporters argue that having a say in the primary is even more important.

At 17, I can enlist in the military, but I can't vote?


But if you killed someone right now, you'd be tried as a minor because society thinks 17yo don't understand consequences. Why should we let you vote then?

I'll be 18 in a few months and will vote in November. Why do you care so much if I vote in the primaries?

Because local elections sometimes come down to a few votes, and you aren't yet fully thinking for yourself. Do you know enough to vote?

5 on AP Government dude and do you think most other people know enough to vote?

And your AP Govt teacher probably told you we're extremists.

Most adults at least pay taxes and live on their own

Don't you think it's more important to get young people participating in our democracy? Voter turnout for my age group is in the pits.

Not if they're not informed

What if I send them

lol they don't do primaries

Note: We intentionally omit links to arguments & rebuttals found in CA's official voter guide. We believe they exaggerate claims, are not fact-checked, and use ALL CAPS irresponsibly.