Thursday, May 03, 2007

The 17-year-old vote...

The state House of Representatives this afternoon passed a proposed Constitutional amendment that would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries provided they will turn 18 by the time the general election rolled around. The vote was 105 in favor, 36 opposed.

Although impressive, it wasn't enough. The measure needed three-quarter (113) support of House members. It fell short by eight votes to reach that mark.

What that means is the proposed amendment to the Constitution will NOT be on the 2008 ballot for voter approval.

But it's not completely dead yet. If the Senate does pass it this year with the three-quarter support(27 out of 36), then both chambers have the opportunity to bring back up again next year - where only a simple majority would be needed to put it out on the ballot for voter approval.


Blogger Bill Jenkins said...

I think this is a very good idea. Rep. James Spallone from Essex was the main person behind this.

Unfortunately there was some what I believe to be unfounded fears that 17 year olds who would be eligible to vote in say a presidential primary would then be allowed to vote in municipal referendums while they were still only 17.

While this concern is legitimate, the state's computerized voter registration systems can handle this very easily.

State law requires Registrar of Voters to hold voter registration sessions at high schools once a year where we sign up 17 year olds who will be 18 by Election Day. We add them to the state system BUT they are automaticaly flagged by the system to NOT appear on a voter's list until they turn 18.

I applaud Rep. Spallone's efforts for this Constitutional Amendment and I hope it becomes a reality.

11:06 AM  
Blogger mccommas said...

I don't agree. There should be a nice crisp line between voters and non-voters. An 18th Birthday serves that task nicely.

There is no need to make things complicated.

I was born too late to vote in the 1984 elections. I got over it.

6:29 AM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Oh and by the way. If we are talking about rights how about that Gayle Slossberg?

I can't find it now but she had this niffy idea to strip minors of the right to contribute to a campaign.

Great idea right? Whats everyone think about that?

I don't know if this violation of the First Amendment rights of children made it to Rells desk or not. I hope not.

We need to protect the rights we have. I see little need for inventing new rights.

8:22 AM  

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