Can’t handle the task


Lesly Hernandez, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Voting shouldn’t be another task to add to the heavy and stress-filled lives of students.


17-year-olds who would be 18 at the time of the next general election should not be allowed to vote in primary and special elections. These elections determine who will run in general state and national elections.


In the recent ballot, California’s Proposition 18 discussed reducing the voting age.


17-year-olds should not be permitted to vote even if they would be 18-year-olds by the time of the next election. 17-year-olds are still considered minors, and their vote would most likely not be their own independent choice as they would be influenced by their parents, teachers, and social media and its popular influencers. Allowing this proposition to pass would also increase statewide costs that could be used for other much-needed things.


According to The Statement of Vote for the November 3, 2020 General Election, 56% of voters submitted a “No” to Proposition 18 and 44% of voters submitted a “Yes.” Therefore, California’s Proposition 18 was defeated.


Now, keep the point I made earlier in mind; 17-year-olds should not be allowed to vote because most are still in high school and live with their parents or guardians. Therefore, they have a higher chance of being heavily influenced by either teachers or their guardians. 


Once more, this tells us that they would be placed under pressure, which would make it less likely for them to make their own, independent decisions.


However, others would argue that 17-year-olds should have a say in these elections. For instance, Gunderson High School teacher Sonia Rebelo, who teaches AP and regular Government, Honors and regular Economics, and Geography. She also coaches Mock Trial. Rebelo believes it’s “very important to be an informed voter” and that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote because “if they’re old enough to work… [and] are old enough to pay taxes, then they should be allowed to have a say in who represents them in government.”


Nevertheless, many 17-year-olds don’t have much interest in politics, and those who do are most likely influenced by the opinions of the people that surround them. They would then base their vote off of others’ thoughts, not making choices they truly are passionate about. 


Furthermore, the fiscal impact that this proposition would have on the state would be increased costs for different counties. It would cost between an estimated several hundreds of thousands of dollars and $1 million every two years just to send and process the voting materials and resources for eligible registered 17-year-olds.


This becomes irritating because this much money shouldn’t be used for such a proposition. Overall, it would be better to invest that money in other things that truly need to be done.


I strongly encourage informed 17-year-olds, especially those interested and spirited about politics and who want to have a voice in these elections, to be patient and wait to turn 18. It would give you the time to become more responsible and gain even more knowledge on the issue, and you could possibly help the state forward the money in voting materials to other necessary issues.