Calabasas Senator introduces legislation to lower voting age to 17



On Feb. 16, California State Senator Henry Stern proposed SCA 2, which would lower the voting age to 17. He explained when introducing the legislation that if 16-year-olds can drive and 17-year-olds can join the military, then 17-year-olds should be able to vote. 

Supporters of the bill, which is currently pending in committee, hope to increase voter turnout as a whole by building the habit of voting at a younger age, given that Californians between the ages of 18 and 24 vote less than any other age demographic. Stern, as well as Esther Kim, sponsor of the legislation, argued that young people are heavily connected to their community and that because of this, they should have the ability to vote and be encouraged to do so. 

The Calabasas Courier reached out to Senator Stern’s office for comment but has received no response.

SCA 2 is not the first attempt at changing state voting laws. Most recently, in 2020, California Proposition 18, which would have allowed 17-year-olds who would turn 18 before the election to vote in primaries, failed to pass. Stern claims that the challenges young people have faced since 2020 have led to a maturation that qualifies them to vote, according to the Senate District 27 website.