(SFGATE) — Sixteen-year-olds can drive, work, pay taxes and be sentenced to life in prison. Now, some want the right to vote, too.
On Tuesday, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos will attempt to make that happen by introducing a measure that would extend the right to vote to 16- and 17-year-olds.
Avalos and other supporters say it will encourage civic engagement among youths and instill in them lifelong voting habits at a time when turnout is low. Detractors call the measure foolhardy at best and at worst a political ploy by progressives to try and win more votes from young people, who tend to lean liberal in their voting.
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“I have seen the power of young people to be able to make changes and positive contributions to their community, and it makes sense to give them the right to vote,” Avalos said.