Election 2020: Prop. 18 Would Allow Some 17-year-olds to Vote in Primaries

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Students wait in line to cast their ballot at a polling station on the campus of the University of California, Irvine, on November 6, 2018 in Irvine, California on election day. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Some young voters who recently turned 18 will be casting their ballot for the first time this November. But some of those voters were not able to vote in the primary election because they were not of age yet. Proposition 18 aims to change that. The initiative could open up the polls for more than 200,000 California voters who are 17 at the time of the primaries, but turn 18 by the general election. Supporters say the measure could spur more civic engagement among young people -- a group that traditionally posts low voter turnout. But opponents argue that 17 year-olds are not equipped to make decisions on complex issues like taxes, for example. In local measures, voters in Oakland will be asked to decide if 16 year-olds can vote in school board elections while in San Francisco, Prop. G would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in city elections. We take a look at the debate on young voters. 

Bay Curious Prop Fest

KQED Voter Guide 2020


Guy Marzorati, reporter and producer, KQED's California Politics and Government Desk

Susan Shelley, No on Prop. 18 campaign, vice president of communications, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and columnist for the Southern California News Group

Mary Creasman, Yes on Prop. 18 campaign and CEO, California League of Conservation Voters