Oregon Legislature Unveil Plan To Lower Voting Age To 16

State legislators in Oregon have proposed a bill, that if passed, could allow people as young as 16 to vote in elections.

The bill has been inspired after an outcry from students after the tragic school shooting last year in Florida. Democratic Senator Shemia Fagan, D-Portland, is for the bill saying that "16-year-olds are subject to our criminal justice system. They are couch surfing with friends while their families experience homelessness and they are begging us to take action to secure their future."

The Bus Project, a nonprofit organization that encourages volunteer civic activism is backing the bill.

Oregon is no where near the first state to consider lowering the voting age. Thirteen other states have also had bills proposing a lower voting age, the support in these states ranged from only allowing minors to vote in school board elections and all the way up to state elections. None of these bills have passed according to the Statesmen Journal.

Oregon is one of 14 states that do allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote, which means that they will be able to vote on their 18th birthday.

If the bill were to the pass it would require an amendment to the Oregon Constitution, and would be on the ballot in 2020, if the legislature allows.

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