This year California voters grapple with a dozen state propositions and a high number of local, city, county, etc. measures.
Of all of them, one of the most common sense and the one we are most pleased to support is Proposition 18, an amendment to the California Constitution that was previously approved by the state Legislature.
If approved, 18 will allow those who have reached 18 years of age on the day of the general elections – and therefore can vote – the right to cast their vote also in the primaries prior to the general elections.
It is understood: in the primary elections the lists of candidates for different voting positions are refined, so that by the time the general election arrives – be it presidential or mid-term, or special – there are only two finalists for each position, so general.
What’s more: if one of the candidates has 50% or more of the votes in the primaries, she is already elected and does not go to the second round of the general election.
Currently, those who are 18 years old for the general election but not for the primary cannot participate in the latter. In this way their participation is truncated, partial and not decisive. If the position that interests you has already been decided, your right to vote even if you are 18 years old is no longer absolute.
With good sense, Proposition 18 ends this deviation from democratic norms.
But that is not all.
The younger the voter, the greater the proportion of Latinos in the total. While among voters aged 56 and above 75% are white and 8% Hispanic, in the 18 to 23 group the proportion is 55% and 22% (Data from the PEW Research Center). If the proposal passes, then the number of Latino voters could rise.
The United States Armed Forces are currently accepting new recruits who are 17 years old. For the country, it is good that the young man serves the country as a soldier, but not that he has citizen rights.
Similarly, many young people already participate in the workforce and pay taxes. If they do not have the full right to vote, we are facing taxation without representation.
Proposition 18 ends this deviation.
Allowing our young people to begin their civic cycle at this age educates them and builds the foundation for them to participate in the life of the country for the rest of their lives, on issues such as tertiary education, health care, and the availability of jobs. .
To date, 18 states have approved similar proposals. California should do it too.
For all this, and between now and November 3, La Opinion exhorts you to give youth a chance. Vote yes for Proposition 18!