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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - California Legislators proposes 14-year old voting age Register and log in to post!
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Grimis
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#1 Posted on 10.3.04 1141.02
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1143.38
Sadly, they made a movie under this premise in the 60's...and regardless of the fractions, the results wouldn't be good.

* * * * * * * *

14-year-olds would rock the vote under this plan
By Ed Fletcher -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Weary of diminishing voter participation in state elections, a group of lawmakers proposed a radical solution Monday: Let Californians as young as 14 cast ballots.
Under a proposed amendment to the state constitution, those age 14 to 17 could vote for state and local offices and measures, but not for anything dealing with the federal government. Ballots cast by 14-and 15-year-olds would count as a quarter of a vote.

Votes cast by 16-and 17-year-olds would count as a half a vote.

"We believe it is time to open the voting franchise to young Californians at the age of 14 and let them register and vote and to be seriously included in the process," said Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, principal author of the proposal.

Since the national voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 with the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1971, participation in that age group has steadily decreased.

Voter participation overall also has been slipping.

Vasconcellos said the proposal amounts to meaningful reform that could make lifelong voters out of young people.

"People who are engaged early stay on," he said. "Experience is the best teacher."

But although most agree that something should be done to improve voter turnout, the solution proposed Monday is far from the consensus answer.

"Terminal dumbness," said Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. "All they will do is further depress voter turnout" because it would create a larger pool of eligible voters.

Gans said society has to draw the line somewhere, and children don't have the "judgment or perspective" to be serious voters. There is a big difference, he said, between giving voting rights to people old enough to fight for their country and giving them to young people living at home and working weekend jobs.

It's unclear, at best, whether the measure's backers could get the bipartisan, two-thirds support they need to put the amendment on the ballot.

Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco, was noncommittal, but he said that Vasconcellos was "thinking outside the box."

Sen. Ross Johnson of Irvine, the Republican vice chairman of the Senate elections committee, was more direct.

"To waste taxpayer money having children cast votes would be ridiculous at any time, but in the face of our current fiscal crisis, it is an obscenity," he said in a statement.

But Vasconcellos and the measure's other authors - Sen. Edward Vincent, D-Inglewood, and Democratic Assemblywomen Sarah Reyes of Fresno and Carol Liu of South Pasadena - envision young people talking politics in school before heading to the polls.

Reyes said young people could handle the responsibility.

"Many of the young people here are probably more politically savvy than some of the adults who are voting today," said Reyes, referring to a group of young people the lawmakers brought to their news conference.

One of them, 16-year-old Thien Vinh Nguyen of C.K. McClatchy High School, said the bill "would ensure that students learn about politics and recognize the importance of voting while still in high school and be in the practice of voting by the time they reach 18."

Belno Lange, a social studies teacher at Casa Roble High School in Orangevale, said he could see 16-year-olds voting but isn't sure about high school freshmen casting ballots.

"From my standpoint, I don't know if 14-and 15-year-olds are looking at those issues and have enough background in order to make a valid decision," Lange said.

Although there have been earlier and ongoing efforts to allow people to cast votes at a younger age - including a current state effort to allow some 17-year-olds with approaching birthdays to vote - experts say they have never heard of an effort to give some citizens less than a full vote.

"I've heard of lowering the voting age ... and I've heard of bringing in young people as poll workers, but that is the first I've heard about a fractional vote," said Doug Chapin, director of electionline.org a Web site offering nonpartisan election reform information. "If nothing else, it is good that people are thinking about trying to get more people in the process."

Richard Smolka, editor of Election Administration Reports, was more critical.

"I don't know any reason why something like this would lead to lifelong voters," Smolka said.

There were supporters of the effort.

"Young people have a lot to contribute," said Veronica De La Garza, Youth Vote Coalition executive director. She said this proposal by itself wouldn't solve the youth-participation problem, but along with voter education, it could help.

Al Fawcett, administrative services officer for the Sacramento County registrar's office, said the proposed system probably would make elections more costly and complicated.

Counties would have to create a way to ensure youth ballots aren't counted as regular ballots, Fawcett said.

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eviljonhunt81
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#2 Posted on 10.3.04 1142.53
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1143.40
All they need is for some shitty band, say Limp Bizkit, to demand 14 or FIGHT!

The Amazing Salami
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#3 Posted on 10.3.04 1217.44
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1218.05
I've argued for the voter age to be moved down to 16 OR to quit taking taxes out of employee paychecks until they are 18. Otherwise you are back to the old taxation without representation problem.
Bizzle Izzle
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#4 Posted on 10.3.04 1246.32
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1248.21
Oh great, let children vote and I'm sure we'll see plenty of write-ins for Dick Hertz and his running mate Mike Hunt. This is one of the absolute craziest things I've ever heard.

From another article:Said Assemblyman Ray Haynes: "There's a reason why 14-year-olds and 16-year-olds don't vote. They are not adults. They are not mature enough. They are easily deceived by political charlatans." That's being a little too kind as far as I'm concerned. It's been my experience that kids don't know jackshit and letting them actually have a say in how things are run would be letting the inmates run the asylum.
Whitebacon
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#5 Posted on 10.3.04 1251.51
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1251.55
    Originally posted by Bizzle Izzle
    Oh great, let children vote and I'm sure we'll see plenty of write-ins for Dick Hertz and his running mate Mike Hunt. This is one of the absolute craziest things I've ever heard.

    From another article:Said Assemblyman Ray Haynes: "There's a reason why 14-year-olds and 16-year-olds don't vote. They are not adults. They are not mature enough. They are easily deceived by political charlatans." That's being a little too kind as far as I'm concerned. It's been my experience that kids don't know jackshit and letting them actually have a say in how things are run would be letting the inmates run the asylum.


I'm not terribly far removed from being 14 and 16. When I was 14, I knew less than jackshit about what was going on around me. I was much more aware when I was in my junior year of HS, (16 years old) because of two teachers I had my sophomore year, who sat on opposite sides of the political fence.
Guru Zim
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#6 Posted on 10.3.04 1253.16
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1254.01
    Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
    I've argued for the voter age to be moved down to 16 OR to quit taking taxes out of employee paychecks until they are 18. Otherwise you are back to the old taxation without representation problem.


So, by that logic, Felons should not pay taxes either?
The Amazing Salami
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#7 Posted on 10.3.04 1257.10
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1259.01
Felons have broken the laws of their country. That's why they lose their right to vote.

What has a 16-year-old or 17-year-old done to compare with that? Nothing. They should vote or not be taxed.
spf
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#8 Posted on 10.3.04 1259.07
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1259.10
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
      I've argued for the voter age to be moved down to 16 OR to quit taking taxes out of employee paychecks until they are 18. Otherwise you are back to the old taxation without representation problem.


    So, by that logic, Felons should not pay taxes either?

One could argue that by the willful action of committing a felonious act that such persons have voluntarily forfeited their right to this sort of representation. Something which young people have not done. In one case it is an accident of birth, in the other it is part of a comprehensive set of punishments (having to mark on job applications, ineligibility for education aid).

But then I've felt that it's pretty unfair that once you've paid your debt to society you still cannot vote. Seems to me it should be removed only while serving your time.
dMr
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#9 Posted on 10.3.04 1300.20
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1300.28
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
      I've argued for the voter age to be moved down to 16 OR to quit taking taxes out of employee paychecks until they are 18. Otherwise you are back to the old taxation without representation problem.


    So, by that logic, Felons should not pay taxes either?


The difference there is that felons have done something which, certainly in my mind means they don't deserve the right to vote.

I do have a deal of sympathy for 16 year olds who have to pay a fair whack in taxes yet have no way of affecting how they are being taxed.

That said I would sooner 16-17 yr olds didn't pay tax than let them loose with the vote. At that age most kids really aren't mature enough to process all the information being flung at them and consider the long term implications of many policies.

That said a lot of adults could be accused of the same thing.
Von Maestro
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#10 Posted on 10.3.04 1306.43
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1307.11
    Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
    I've argued for the voter age to be moved down to 16 OR to quit taking taxes out of employee paychecks until they are 18. Otherwise you are back to the old taxation without representation problem.


Well, seeing as they are minors who require the consent of of people who can vote if they want to work, they basically are being represented when it comes to their taxation...
Lexus
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#11 Posted on 10.3.04 1306.46
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1309.20
If you think civics class is unimportant now, I want you to imagine a high school full of kids walking past a huge billboard of the Principal's choice in whatever is being voted on on the way to class. Leaflets passed out in lunch and class saying who you should vote for. And, since they're kids, and don't care, when they're marched into the voting booths from class, rather than use imagination to write in Dick Hertz, they mark the name they've heard the most, or check the box that they heard most about. My high school had 4 thousand students when I graduated. Factor in that about half would be 14-15 (quarter vote), and half 16-17 (half vote), that's coming out to 1500 actual votes, geared in the direction of whatever their teachers decided to let them know about the candidates, commercials they saw with spooky music and black backgrounds to get you to dislike a candidate, and every urge to try and counter their parents vote in rebellion.

How many high schools, public and private, are there in California now?

Of course, that's just the worst case scenario.

Not only that, but qualifying their vote, but lessening it to a percentage of a vote would be doing two things at once, announcing that 14 year olds are adult citizens, but less than other adult citizens. Didn't the civil rights movement point that out to be oxymoronic and at least a little unconstitutional?
samoflange
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#12 Posted on 10.3.04 1310.46
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1312.17
Sure the average 14, or even 17 year old doesn't know jackshit about politics or who to vote for, but these are the ones who will not vote anyway. The benefactors of this age-limit change would be those young people who actually WOULD vote, and want some sort of say in things that affect their lives (the taxes example is a prime one). I don't see anything here that will be detrimental to the voting process. ALso, however, looking more realistically upon the voting habits of Americans, I don't see much benefit it could have other than a symbolic one. The amount of 14-17 year olds who would actually vote if this were to be enacted would be such a low number that it would do very little overall. But, anything to get the youngins interested I guess.
oldschoolhero
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#13 Posted on 10.3.04 1317.43
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1319.39
"Sure the average 14, or even 17 year old doesn't know jackshit about politics or who to vote for, but these are the ones who will not vote anyway."

You're missing the point. The average 14-17 year old is invariably dependant on some kind of adult support and/or education. As Lexus said, those that "don't vote" are easily susceptible to being manipulated into voting for political agendas that they don't give a shit about. It's opening up a whole new set of voters that can be easily turned one way or the other, and that's something that's just not needed.
Corajudo
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#14 Posted on 10.3.04 1322.51
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1325.05
    Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
    Felons have broken the laws of their country. That's why they lose their right to vote.

    What has a 16-year-old or 17-year-old done to compare with that? Nothing. They should vote or not be taxed.


Direct taxes aren't the only taxes we pay. In fact, that 'taxation without representation' outcry was aimed at excise taxes. So, does that mean we exempt minors from indirect taxes as well (such as the sales tax, gasoline tax, etc.)?
Grimis
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#15 Posted on 10.3.04 1343.15
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1344.19
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    You're missing the point. The average 14-17 year old is invariably dependant on some kind of adult support and/or education. As Lexus said, those that "don't vote" are easily susceptible to being manipulated into voting for political agendas that they don't give a shit about. It's opening up a whole new set of voters that can be easily turned one way or the other, and that's something that's just not needed.
Did we just agree on something? :)
samoflange
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#16 Posted on 10.3.04 1409.08
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1412.53
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    "Sure the average 14, or even 17 year old doesn't know jackshit about politics or who to vote for, but these are the ones who will not vote anyway."

    You're missing the point. The average 14-17 year old is invariably dependant on some kind of adult support and/or education. As Lexus said, those that "don't vote" are easily susceptible to being manipulated into voting for political agendas that they don't give a shit about. It's opening up a whole new set of voters that can be easily turned one way or the other, and that's something that's just not needed.


Ahhh, thats something I didn't think of. I forget how many of today's youth are basically tools who do what MTV tells them. Based on your counterpoint, I agree that lowering the voting age would overall be detrimental.
I guess I would ahve to go back to something I said before, in that even the benefits of allowing 14-17 yr olds to vote would basically be inconsequential. The negatives potentially outweigh the positives here, and I think this is one of the fastest times in which my mind has been changed.

By the way, Grimis, that Kerry graphic you have is great. Mind letting me know where you got that from?
TheBucsFan
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#17 Posted on 10.3.04 1507.45
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1508.04
I would think that, pretending there was some great standard by which people could be deemed "aware" or "qualified" enough to vote, that the percentage of 14- and 15-year-olds qualified to vote is not that much lower than the percentage of the rest of the population.

"They are easily deceived by political charlatans," Ray Haynes said. I think the same thing about virtually every person I know over the age of 18. If being easily manipulated by political bullshit disqualifies you from voting, then I don't think most of the American voters are qualified.

My biggest problem with this proposal is the quarter- or half-vote the teenagers would hold. Give them a vote or no vote. They are not a quarter of a person.
oldschoolhero
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#18 Posted on 10.3.04 1510.22
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1511.06
""They are easily deceived by political charlatans," Ray Haynes said. I think the same thing about virtually every person I know over the age of 18. If being easily manipulated by political bullshit disqualifies you from voting, then I don't think most of the American voters are qualified."

Not really, because there are much stronger ways to sway the younger votes. Your boss can't hold your vote for ransom, but if YOU were an apathetic fourteen year-old and your folks said "You wanna go to that party Friday night? PUT AN X IN THIS BOX!", then you're not really gonna say no, are ya?

And Grim-I won't make a habit of it, I promise. ;)

(edited by oldschoolhero on 10.3.04 1319)
The Amazing Salami
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#19 Posted on 10.3.04 1519.04
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1520.28
    Originally posted by Corajudo
      Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
      Felons have broken the laws of their country. That's why they lose their right to vote.

      What has a 16-year-old or 17-year-old done to compare with that? Nothing. They should vote or not be taxed.


    Direct taxes aren't the only taxes we pay. In fact, that 'taxation without representation' outcry was aimed at excise taxes. So, does that mean we exempt minors from indirect taxes as well (such as the sales tax, gasoline tax, etc.)?


Good question. One I don't have an answer for. But my original thought and my feeling on the topic is that they should be allowed to vote at 16. What you're saying backs it up even further...if they are old enough to make money, spend money buying clothes, gas and CDs...shouldn't they have as much a say in hiring the people who are in charge of creating those taxes as you or I do?
samoflange
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#20 Posted on 10.3.04 1521.25
Reposted on: 10.3.11 1523.28
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    My biggest problem with this proposal is the quarter- or half-vote the teenagers would hold. Give them a vote or no vote. They are not a quarter of a person.


Actually, that would be a way to slightly make up for the fact that there will be people taking advantage of young voters, as in the way oldschoolhero explained. It would reduce the severity of such a problem ocurring, and is a pretty good way to do so. However, it wouldnt not be a failproof measure, as someone can just say "hey, young people count less, so we'll just get more and more of them to vote in my favor."
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