From Washington Times (March 9, 2017): Stung by recent election defeats, Democrats are leading the charge to lower the voting age to 17, with a little help from liberal billionaire George Soros.
In California, Democratic legislators introduced this week a landmark bill, ACA 10, that would give the Golden State the nation’s youngest statewide voting age by lowering the threshold from 18 to 17 in the name of reversing the slide in voter turnout.
“Young people are our future,” said Democratic Assembly member Evan Low, the measure’s sponsor. “Lowering the voting age will help give them a voice in the democratic process and instill a lifelong habit of voting.”
The proposal comes as the most ambitious of a host of efforts to chip away at the 18-year-old voting age as Democrats seek to bring into the fold younger voters, who traditionally support more liberal causes and candidates than do their elders.
Mr. Soros is on board: His Open Society Foundations is among the left-wing philanthropies backing FairVote, which has pushed to allow 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before the general election to vote in presidential primaries and caucuses, a policy now on the books in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
Also gaining popularity is preregistration. Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow certain minors, ranging in age from 16 to 17 years and 10 months, to register to vote before turning 18, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla appeared Thursday at John F. Kennedy High School in Los Angeles to announce the state’s online preregistration system for 16- and 17-year-olds, joined by the program director of YVote.
The group, which had advocated for preregistration, also has a Soros connection. YVote is a project of the Movement Strategy Center, which receives donations through the Funders for Justice, whose work is funded by left-wing philanthropies including Open Society.
In November, voters in Berkeley, California, took it a step further by lowering the voting age for school board elections to 16. Two Maryland cities — Takoma Park and Hyattsville — have in recent years allowed 16-year-olds to participate in municipal elections.
Proponents argue that the 18-year-old threshold is unfair and arbitrary, but there is little doubt that lowering the voting age disproportionately benefits one side of the aisle, and it’s not the right.
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