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Voting Age Bill Passes Committee

Written by NYRA May 09, 2004

The bill proposed by California State Senator John Vasconcellos, (D- San Jose) that will grant half of a vote to sixteen year olds, and one fourth of a vote to fourteen year olds, passed the Committee on Elections and Reappointment Wednesday May 5 on a 3-2 vote. The hearing began with testimony from well known Youth Rights author and NYRA Advisor Mike Males. Dr. Males’ testimony went smoothly. NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz testified after him, and although his testimony was thwarted by hostile politicians frequently interrupting and asking unrelated questions, he brought up a number of good points. He was removed from the panel too early, and opponents later brought up points he intended to address. A number of other supporters testified on behalf of the bill, including NYRA-Berkley President Robert Reynolds, who is currently producing a documentary on the voting age. People opposed to the bill brought up possible logistics difficulties involving different ballots for people of different ages. These testimonies have generated some media coverage for NYRA in California. Next the bill travels to the Constitutional Amendment Committee on May 26. Members are encouraged to write letters to the committee members and letters to the editor of their local newspapers.

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