Thursday, March 15, 2007

The youth vote...

There is no question that young voters played a major role in the 2006 mid-term elections, and there is now a push on in Hartford to attract even more younger voters to the polls.But the number of younger voters who turn out at the polls, although on the rise, still lags well behind other age groups.

A Constitutional amendment is being offered that would, if approved, allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries provided they will turn 18 years of age by the time that year's general election rolls around. Seventeen year olds can now pre-register to vote if they will be celebrating their 18th birthday prior to the election.

The measure is currently in front of the legislature's Governament, Administration and Elections Committee. It would require two-thirds support in both the state House and state Senate chambers, and then voter approval at next year's November election. (Constitutional amendments can only be placed on Connecticut's ballot for voter approval in even numbered years.)

If it were to survive all those hurdles, the earliest 17-year-olds would be able to vote in a primary election would be in 2009.

So..since you, the voter, would have to approve this change to the state Constitution...what do you think about the idea?

And if it matters, eight other states already allow this.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lon said...

Ray,

I'm biased on this one since the Connecticut Young Democrats are endorsing this legislation, but I think Representative Spallone's proposal is a solid one that will open the process to thousands of young voters.

The Connecticut Young Democrats conducted an analysis of registered voters in the 2006 cycle. Our research found that 2,935 young people turned 18 between August 9th and November 8th, meaning they were eligible to vote in the general election but not the primary.

It just makes sense that if a young person will be old enough to vote in an election they should at least be allowed to participate in the selection of candidates for it.

We will be tracking this legislation on our blog. A full video of yesterday's press conference on the bill

Personally I'd like to see the voting age eventually lowered to seventeen, which would allow virtually every high school senior the opportunity to vote. We'd see a substantial increase in youth voter participation if such a change was made. The legislation announced yesterday is a good start.

When I first heard of this legislation I thought back to the year I turned 18. The election was on a Tuesday and my 18th birthday was a Friday. This was in 1994, the year the 2nd District race was determined by only four votes on election night.

-Lon

9:45 AM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Has anyone but me noticed that the Democrats and media liberals stop at nothing to get voters who don't have a clue what the issues are to the polls?

OK, if you are worried about the youth being disinfrancisdd than how about reading this letter I sent to one of your boy's cronies back on Feb 14th.

I think its far more impoartant to keep the rights we got before asking for new ones. Don't you?

Senator Slossberg

I would like some justification why you have introduced yet another bill curtailing First Amendment rights.

Your latest notion is to take away the right of a 16 year old to contribute to a political campaign. Granted not many at that tender age are egger to give up scarce private funds for political causes but this scarcity is not a reason why their rights should be limited.

At 16 years an American may well have some very passionate ideas and may wish to contribute to a candidate or cause he or she feels is worthy. Unlike your public financeing sceme, this would invovled a choice by the citizen.

I have read your February 7, 2007 press release and find it sadly lacking in forethought.

Brave men have fought and died to protect our rights to say what we please. Please don’t give them all away piece by piece in the name of “reform”.

You can’t legislate good ethics. You can’t put in place laws that will force people to honest and ethical.

Former Governor John Rowland broke the law and went to jail. The system is not broke so please stop fixing it.

Thank you,

John R. McCommas

8:04 PM  

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