California might soon allow some 17-year-olds to vote

A proposed amendment to the state constitution in California that would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections was approved by the Assembly on Thursday. If approved, California would join other states in allowing those who turn 18 before the general election to vote in the primary even if it falls on a date prior to their birthday.

The measure will now move to the Senate and, if passed, would then be put on the ballot for voters to consider in March, according to AP.

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of San Francisco says the change would “empower California’s youngest voters” and encourage them to take part in democracy.  If passed, those who will vote in the general election would have a say in what candidates they want to vote for in the primary process.

Opponents, such as Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher of Nicolaus, say it’s all just a ploy to get more Democrat-leaning voters that “has mostly a more political ulterior motive in the long term. That’s what is really going on here.”