Under a proposed amendment to the state constitution, those age 14 to 17 could vote for state and local offices and measures, but not for anything dealing with the federal government. Ballots cast by 14-and 15-year-olds would count as a quarter of a vote.
Votes cast by 16-and 17-year-olds would count as a half a vote.
“We believe it is time to open the voting franchise to young Californians at the age of 14 and let them register and vote and to be seriously included in the process,” said Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, principal author of the proposal.
Since the national voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 with the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1971, participation in that age group has steadily decreased.
Voter participation overall also has been slipping.