Two Minneapolis House Democrats introduced a bill Wednesday to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 for local elections.
The bill, House File 2423, proposes an amendment to the State Constitution that would allow a “county, municipality, or school district” to “lower the voting age to 16 years of age for local elections.”
“A person under the age of 18 may only vote for offices and ballot questions for the jurisdiction that has adopted the lower voting age. A person under the age of 18 must not be allowed to vote for any state or federal office or state ballot question,” the bill clarifies.
It would also require election officials to prepare separate ballots for voters under the age of 18 so that they only vote “for local offices or questions where the voter is authorized to vote.”
Although doomed to go nowhere in the Minnesota Senate, the bill would, if passed, be placed on the 2020 ballot for voters to decide on.
“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to allow political subdivisions to lower the voting age to 16 years of age for local elections?” the ballot proposition would state.
House File 2423 was introduced by Rep. Raymond Dehn (D-Minneapolis) and Rep. Aisha Gomez (D-Minneapolis), but currently has no other cosponsors.
It was introduced just days after a majority of U.S. House Democrats voted in favor of an amendment to the “For the People Act” that would lower the federal voting age to 16. The amendment was introduced by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), and supported by 125 House Democrats, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05). The amendment received the support of one Republican, but ultimately fell short in a vote of 126-305.
“Young people are at the forefront of some of our most existential crises,” Pressley said in support of her amendment. “The time has come. Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Raymond Dehn” by Raymond Dehn. Photo “Aisha Gomez” by Aisha Gomez.