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Voting Age Bill Fails in California

Written by NYRA Aug 26, 2004

California State Senator John Vasconcellos recently abandoned his proposal to lower the voting age in California. NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz, NYRA-Berkley chapter President Robert Reynolds, and NYRA advisor Mike Males had all gone to Sacramento to testify on behalf of the bill, which passed two committees before being amended and eventually abandoned. The bill, which originally would have given one half of a vote to sixteen and seventeen year olds, and one quarter of a vote to fourteen and fifteen year olds, was recently amended to simply lower the voting age to sixteen. People felt that the initial proposal was too complicated, and too much like the three fifths compromise. While NYRA regrets this bill being abandoned, we feel that overall the experience was a positive one. The debate surrounding the bill got a lot of people talking about youth rights issues, and generated a lot of press for NYRA. NYRA advised Senator Vaconcellos’s office about the bill, and NYRA members testified before important law makers. Therefore, it should still be viewed as a victory.

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