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Should 17-year-olds be allowed vote in primary elections?

November 3, 2015 

In Vermont, 17-year-olds can vote in primary elections if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. These newly enfranchised voters have this right because of the hard work of students like you.

The state recently changed its constitution, making Vermont one of 18 states to give 17-year-olds voting rights in primaries if they will be 18 at the time of the general election. In primary elections, voters in each party decide who will represent the party in the general election. The general election is where the winners of each party’s primary face each other to determine who will represent their constituents. 

The issue of voting rights is as old as the country itself. From the signing of the Constitution until the mid-19th century, only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. With the passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870, voting rights were extended to all men, regardless of race and property holdings. In 1920, women were granted the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment. But the right to vote for 18-year-olds is relatively new. In fact, it’s barely 39 years old. In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the 26th Amendment, giving voting rights to 18-year-olds. Before, a person had to be 21 to vote.
The initiative to amend the state’s constitution came from Ellie Beckett, who was a junior at Champlain Valley Union High School. In 2008, she asked in her AP U.S. Government class why 17-year-olds couldn’t vote in a primary election if they will be 18 at the time of the general election.

“We were discussing how about 11 other states allowed 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they would be 18 in the general elections. We talked about how Vermont should adopt this policy,” Beckett wrote in an e-mail to the Burlington Free Press.

She took the idea to State Sen. Jeanette White, whom she was interning for as part of the Girls Rock the Capitol program. With additional lobbying of House members, White managed to get the amendment passed by the state legislature. The proposed amendment then was put on the ballot. Under the Vermont proposal, 17-year-olds would be allowed to vote for a candidate, but not on ballot questions.

Voters supported the change to the amendment, and on March 6, 2014, 17-year-olds were allowed to vote in the state primary for the first time.

What do you think?

Should 17-year-olds be allowed to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the time of the general election? If your state doesn’t allow you to vote in primaries if you are 17, how would you get officials to change the laws? How would you address the concern that 17-year-olds might not be knowledgeable enough to vote? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
1/17/2017
VA
Katherine
Zaval/Midlo Middle School
17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primaries, ONLY if they qualify to vote in the next general election. If they are going to be able to vote between two of the elects, they should have a say in who their choices are! I also think that they will need to be registered in order to vote in the primaries. They should follow all of the regulations that anybody else does. Also, in some states, a 17-year-old person is an adult. Most adults are allowed to vote, so not allowing them to vote in a primary is unreasonable. A person of 17 years should be allowed to vote in a primary election if they will be 18 by the time of the general election.

1/17/2017
murrieta ca
anthony
jabro mca
I disagree with the 17-year-old voters due to the lack of knowledge placed upon the individual and it would allow someone to permit or victimize them to stress due to schooling and possibly extracurricular activities that they may attend. I am a 17-year-old student now and with all the work, I receive, as an individual is irksome for my open yet efficient schedule. You can never fully entitle someone with a very important decision of life has not been thrown their way.

10/20/2016
Virginia
Essence
Mrs. Zaval
No, I don't think 17-year-olds should be able to vote! I strongly believe that ages 10-19 are not aware of the events going on around the country and will only vote from parental and friend influences! At school students learn about politics and current events, but are not aware of the differences of each political party. Therefore it makes it difficult for those ages to express their opinions.

10/17/2016
Murrieta, CA
Matthew Munoz
Mr.Jabro / Murrieta Valley High
No I do not believe that 17-year-olds should be given the choice to vote. Instead I would rather have the schools have all 17-year-olds take a survey on what they think is important to them and send those results to politicians so they can see the concerns that the younger generation has. At 17 I don't expect to see teens knowing exactly who to vote for, but I do think that they would be able to understand conflicts and give their views on issues.

10/17/2016
California
River
Mr.jabro
If he or she is in the bounds of being 18 by the time of the general election then the only other requirements should be based academically and not simply age, as knowledge is obtained over time.

10/17/2016
California
Sonny Martinez
Mr.Jabro Murrieta Canyon Academy
I don't believe 17 year old's should be given the right to vote due to the fact that some may not understand the real world and most young people lean toward democratic and liberal ideals and most are also heavily influenced by their friends and families views when you're 17 sometimes it can be hard to think for yourself sometimes

10/10/2016
Midothian / Virginia
Trae Papierniak
Zaval / Midlothian Middle
Yes they should because in some states they are consiterd an adult, and adults are aloud to vote.(not 17 year olds) Also they hear about every thing around election time.

10/6/2016
CA
Jon
Jabro
No. 17 year olds should not be able to vote in any elections. You are legally an adult at the age of 18 and it should stay that way, and if 17 year olds were Alowed to vote than the legal age of an adult should also change.

10/4/2016
Murrieta/CA
Bryson
mr.Jabro/Canyon Academy
No, I do not believe that 17 year - olds should vote, a year is a long time and thoughts can change in an instant, but in most young ones lean toward democratic parties due to their common belief of ideological beliefs just due to their stress of growing up they may ignore realism make them easier to control.

10/3/2016
Murrieta, CA
Maurice
Mr. Jabro
No 17-year-old's shouldn't be able to vote. Since most of them live with their guardian(s) they could be influenced by them, and that goes against our idea of voting. To get them to change the laws you'd have to make a case/ petition that would talk about the rules and on top of that you'd have to get them to care. In all a lot of 17 - 18 year old's shouldn't be able to vote.

10/3/2016
Murrieta,Ca
Jabril
Mr Jabro
I do believe 17 year olds should be able to vote, especially if they are being educated on politics in their local schools

9/16/2016
sidney/ montana
Jared Steinbeisser
lewis/sidney
I don't think 17 year-olds should be aloud to vote. i think this because, there is no point to change it from 18 years old. it is one year earlier. most 17 year olds take government in high school so they will be a little more educated to vote. Also, when you turn 18 you are technically an adult. Plus not like its gonna change the votes.

9/16/2016
Sidney, MT
Lexi
Mr. Faulhaber
No I don't think 17 year olds should be allowed to vote. Yes, there are many 17 year olds that are very educated in the subject of politics but can't they wait one more year lol. Considering the fact that a lot of 18 year olds either don't vote or only vote for a candidate because that's who their parents are voting for. Honestly our vote doesn't even matter so this whole conversation is a joke in my opinon.

9/16/2016
Sidney Montana
Madison Thiessen
Mr. Lewis Sidney High School
Yes, I believe 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections. If they are going to be 18 when it comes to the time of general elections, then shouldn't the beginning of the election involve the same people. Normally 17 year olds are seniors in high school. We learn about the government, but if the issue is maybe we are not educated enough, maybe we should have to take a test first. Prove to everyone that we have the right knowledge to vote in primary elections. Allowing 17 year olds to vote will up our percentage in participation in voting. Younger people like to express their opiniond, and they want to vote, so let them.

9/16/2016
sidney, mt
Miller
Faulhaber
I agree, 17 year olds should be able to vote, especially if they understand how their presidential nominee operates. Then and only then should they be aloud to vote.

9/16/2016
Sidney, MT
Sierra
Mr Faulhaber Sidney High School
I believe 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote if they will be able to by general election because they will be able to influence who the ending candidates will be. If we are 17 at the point of primaries and cannot vote we have no say who we could be voting for later. As general elections come around if we did not have the say we could be turned off from voting in the generals at all.

9/15/2016
Murrieta, CA
Maurice
Mr. Jabro Murrieta Canyon Academy
There is no point in having 17 year olds voting, since most 17 year-olds are still living with their parents and are in their last year of school. With that being said a lot are still under their parents influence and will only vote for the one their parents will go for. At 18 you're allowed to do more as an individual, so it makes sense to have them as valid new voters. Whilst 17 year olds can still have their parents form doctors appointments for them, though a smaller percentage is more independent there's no point in having them vote when most are not.

6/3/2016
Murrieta California
Marco
Mr jabro creekside highschool
In my opinion i think if you're educated enough at 17 and know what is going on you should be able to vote even if the age to vote is 18 and you only have a year left to vote if you know whats going on i think they should vote because there vote could probably change whats happening but they should be tested before being able to vote so 17 year old just dont randomly vote they should be tested on there knowledge

5/10/2016
hoover,alabama
wade streeter
spainpark highschool
I believe a 17 year old should be able to vote. Especially if they are knowledgeable. As a 17 year old student i feel with the education ive recieved i should be able to vote. In addition i will 18 years old in August.

4/26/2016
Rudyard, MT
Megan Kurtz
North Star Schools
I don't think 17-year-olds should be able to vote. For one thing, a lot of them know nothing about politics and the way the government works, because they have not taken a Government class or finished their schooling quite yet. Without any of the knowledge needed, how would you expect them to make an educational vote? Besides that, a 17-year-old's brain is not even done developing. Most people are now not voting, when they become 18 and some people who are older than 18 don't even vote. There are many reasons why, but one of a the main reasons why is that they just don't care. That is the attitude, you could see from a 17-year-old as well.

4/7/2016
Murrieta/CA
Trevor
Mr.J/Creekside High
I think 17 year olds should be able to vote if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. My reasoning for this is if they are going to be able to vote when the general election comes out, they should be able to vote for who they would like to be in the election.

4/7/2016
Sidney, MT
Sadie
Mr. Faulhaber
In my opinion I do not think 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote. They should not because most 18-year-olds do not vote, when becoming voting age. The non-voters are younger generation. In 1969 the voting percent was 69, but in 2012 the percent came down to 56 percent. The government in my opinion are to busy trying to find ways of increasing participation in voting for their president. Most teenagers do not care as much as the older adult group. They should care just as much as the older adult group but do not, maybe because they do not understand the concept. People who vote should have better understanding of the pressing issues in the United States.

4/4/2016
lowa
kanvee
Rosseverty
think that 17 year olds should be able to vote if they'll be 18 by time the primary elections come around. 17 year olds basically have the same mind set as 18 year olds. If I was 17, might protest to make a change or I'd just live with it. There are a lot of 17 year olds williing to vote so those votes might make a change.17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the time of the general election. Honestly what is the big deal? If they truely want to vote I am positive they will be mature about their decision. It's not like it's a 3 year gap, they will be turning 18! Let younger minds have to right to vote. This conflict is just a big joke and should be laughed at. Let the 17 year olds vote in the primary elections already.

3/20/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Jullian
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primary elections. They should be able to because if they do that will allow more people to vote. Also since they are younger so they will be more likely to not have a job so they will have more time to vote. That is why I believe that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote.

3/19/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Matt
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think 17 year olds should be allowed to vote because they could turn 18 the day of the election. Also it could make no difference to how they act. When people age they do not magically change how they are or who they are. Someone could turn 18 at 3:16 and they will still have the same amount of maturity they had that minute ago. So yes I feel think that 17 year olds should be able to vote.

3/18/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Jayden
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I beileve 17 year olds should be able to vote. If they are going to be 18 anyways by the election it doesn't extremely matter. I do beileve that they should be on close watch. Since they are getting to vote so early they should go to some classes so they understand and have any questions they have to be answered. If to many things go wrong though we should go back to the method and only let 18 year olds vote.

3/18/2016
Stroudsburg Pennsylvania
Nandee correia
Mr. Hana Stroudsburg JHS
I don't think 17 year olds should be able to vote. Sure they're about to be 18, but "about to be" and actually being 18 are two completely different things. There's a reason the number is 18, and it has to do with maturity. Some 17 year olds are very mature and would have no problem going in and voting, but others would be hurting us all by voting. Now what? Some should and some shouldn't, but ther needs to be consistency. Eighteen seems like a good number, because that is the point in life when most people have to group up a little. Besides the part of the brain that controls the decisions you make isn't fully developed unil about 21 years of age. If you say that 17 year olds should be able to vote based on the fact that being seventeen is close to being eighteen, what is to stop a sixteen year old from voting just because they are close to seventeen. Not lying until 18 has been working fine until now so I see no logical reasons in Changing it now.

3/17/2016
Murrieta/CreeksideHS
JacobStrommen
Mr.Jabro
I believe that we should not allow 17 year old to vote due to the lack of experience that most teens and kids have. I believe that there should be a standard test to take that will give the certain high scoring people that understand the government and that will help the country survive and help it get back to when we were the top country in the world. In conclusion, no we should not let the 17 year olds vote.

3/17/2016
stroudsburg/PA
paige
mr.hanna/stroudsburg JHS
I think that 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections. They are almost 18 anyways so I doesn't really matter. I think personally that they are at a legal age to vote.

3/16/2016
Murrieta/CA
Vanessa H.
Mr.Jabro/CHS
Yes, I believe 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote. They are just as capable as 18-year-olds. Coming from Government at that time most 17-year-olds are educated enough and want to vote. Young adults want to make a difference and the peak of independence starts with being able to vote.

3/16/2016
Murrieta/CA
Vanessa H.
Mr.Jabro/CHS
Yes, I believe 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote. They are just as capable as 18-year-olds. Coming from Government at that time most 17-year-olds are educated enough and want to vote. Young adults want to make a difference and the peak of independence starts with being able to vote.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Bridget Clark
Mr.Hanna Stroudsburg JHS
I think that 17 year olds should be aloud to vote because they will be 18 soon. I honestly don't understand why 17 year olds can't vote they are just as mature as an 18 year old the difference is a year. I mean they just need to hear it more often and right now I can't change anything but in the future I would try to do the best I can. I absolutely have no idea what they are thinking a 17 year old can't get mature the night he/she turns 18 there is really no difference. So yes 17 years old should be able to vote.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg
Raven
Mr Hanna /Stroudsburg JHS
I think that 17 year old should be allowed to vote. It's a free country meaning that we have a right to vote. Taking a way that right is basically saying that we don't have that right anyone,also saying that this isn't a free country either.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg
Ricardo
Mr.Hanna JHS
I think that technically 17 year old son should be allowed to vote because the general election will occurr when there 18. And if I were not allowed to vote I would speak to officials because it's my right and I want a president that will be in my best interests. The way I would adress tht yes maybe were too young but maybe teachers can teach us more about elections and there won't be a problem.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Nkosi
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that 17 year olds should be able to vote if they'll be 18 by time the primary elections come around. 17 year olds basically have the same mind set as 18 year olds. If I was 17, might protest to make a change or I'd just live with it. There are a lot of 17 year olds williing to vote so those votes might make a change.

3/16/2016
Stroudsbrug, PA
Jahnel D
Mr. Hanna Stroudsbrug JHS
i think the 17 year-olds should be allowed to vote because most of them are able to. They should be allowed to have a say in who is leading our country or not. Some 17 year-old that are still childish, are the one that shouldn't vote but if the 17 year-old is knowledgeable and know that it has to be taken on a serious note then they should vote.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Russell
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the time of the general election. Honestly what is the big deal? If they truely want to vote I am positive they will be mature about their decision. It's not like it's a 3 year gap, they will be turning 18! Let younger minds have to right to vote. This conflict is just a big joke and should be laughed at. Let the 17 year olds vote in the primary elections already.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,Pennsylvania
Brianna H
Mr. Hanna/SJHS
17 year olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections if they will be turning 18 by the time of the general election . There won't be a huge age gap between the 17 year old and 18 year old and the mind state won't be much of a difference. To change the law in my state I would set up a protest with the other 17 year olds which will then capture attention to the news and spark attention to the Pennsylvania officials to change it. To address the concerns of 17 year olds not being knowledgable enough I would say that the age difference is very little especially if they are about to turn 18. Also since the ages are very close, they have learned about the same things.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Andrew
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think 17-year olds should be allowed to vote. If I was 17, but couldn't vote if I were to be 18 by the time of the general election I would get the officials by protesting with others. I would disagree with the opinion that teens aren't knowledgeable by bringing up the fact that 18 and 19 are both considered to be adults but they are also teens. Also if someone was 17 what would 1 or 2 years mean in knowledge about politics.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Ali
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that people that are 17 years of age should be allowed to vote.I think young minds should have an opinion and express it by voting in the primary election and later turning 18 to vote in the general election. The people who wish to vote should go protest with other fellow people who agree to attempt to change the officials mind. Many people aren't very knowledgeable, but they're still allowed the right to vote. It won't be fair for 17 year olds that want to vote.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, Pa
Eric
Mr.hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that 17 year olds should be able to vote if they will turn 18 before the general election. to get people to change it I would organize a group and try to petition the current state of the law. For people that say 17 year olds wouldn't know enough about voting I would tell them that people don't just figure out how to vote the moment they turn 18. The more times you vote the faster and smoother it will go. I'm sure any 17 year old that would take time out of there day to to vote would be informed enough to make an intelligent decision based on what they believe.

3/15/2016
stroudsburg PA
collin
stroudsburg JHS
I think that people that take classes in high school based off of politics should be able to vote but they need a card to prove that they have the right to vote but older people are wiser and smarter so i agree with Vermont

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg
Sara D.
Mr. Hanna
I think 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the primary election. If my state doesn't allow 17 year olds to vote in the primary election when I am that old. I will try to convince them to change it the best I could. I would most likely take the same approach some teens are taking now to try to convince them. I would say that there isn't much difference between 18 year olds and 17 year olds. They both think a lot alike.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg/PA
Amber F
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that we should let 17 year-olds vote, if they are 18 by the time the election. This is because 17 years-olds know just as much about politics the 18 year-olds, so the only reason why they can't vote is because of age. Also, the government is urging more people to vote, so why not include the 17 year-olds? 17 year-olds are just as qualify as anyone who can vote. So why not give it a try?

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Eryk d
Mr. Hanna
I think 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections if they are turning18 prior to the general election because there is not that much time difference between the ages of 17-1/2 and 18. To change the law in my state I would pass a petition around my school and ask 17 year olds to sign it and submit my signed petition to my Senator for him to present it to the Top Pennsylvania officialsfor their consideration. There is not enough difference between a 17 year old and an 18 year old's knowledge of what is right. Also if you are not allowed to vote in this presidential election, you would have to wait another 4 years to vote for a president, even though you could be sent off to fight in a war for your country.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Shawn R.
Mr. Hannah/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primary election.I myself don't know much about politics, but I do know that many adults say anyone under 18 years old are too young and immature to vote. Have these people ever thought that many adults don't know what they are talking about, but they get to vote just because they're 18? A lot of teenagers have learned about politics, and have great ideas on who should be president. Why should their age limit their opinions?

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Gigi S.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primary elections if they will turn 18 before the general election. To get officials to change the laws about this in Pennsylvania, I would get a group of people together and speak up about what is wrong in this situation. If I had to, I would peacefully protest or start a petition. If the argument came up that 17-year-olds aren't as knowledgeable as 18-year-olds, I would just explain that first of all, there is only a years difference between the two. Second, if they will be able to vote in the general election, they should be allowed to vote in the primary and maybe that would help them be better informed and make them want to vote later. Third, it is our future president that we are voting for and we should be able to have a say in our future. I think that Vermont and the other states are right, if you can vote in the general election, you should be allowed to vote in the primary election.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Ryan P.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Seventeen-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primaries, but only if they'll be eighteen by the time of the general election. If they have the initiative to register as a member of whatever party, they'll probably be capable of making an intelligent decision. Also, it's always been an issue that not enough people are voting in both the primaries and the general election. By letting seventeen-year-olds vote, we would be getting them more interested in politics, causing them to want to vote more. It may not be a huge change, but any more votes at all can be helpful.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Sydney
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg Junior High
As long as the 17 year olds would be 18 by the general elections, I don't see the problem. If they are voting in the general elections at age 18, they are helping to decide their/our countries' future and voting in the primary elections is just as important.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Tojah
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that 17 years old should be able to vote in the primary elections. I believe this because if you know what all the political parties are saying and you really have a strong opinion on who you are voting for, you can vote. And if the primary elections are neck and neck, every vote does count

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Wayne
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Yes I think 17-year olds should be allowed to vote BcZ they are basically grown ups. I would get officials to change their minds by being nice and coming to agreement with them. 17 and 18 is not really different their both a age turning into grown ups so 17-year olds should be able to vote

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Umu
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that 17- year olds can vote in primary elections if they are 18 by the time of general elections. If they don't let you vote in primaries then the whites will get the amendment passed by the legislature.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Mahedi
Mr.Hana/Stroudsburg jhs
17 year olds be able to vot e in the primary election. There already almost adults and one year would make little difference to the jujdment. Beside theure going to have to deal with the next president anyway.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Nick Gomez
Mr. Hanna Stroudsburg Junior High School
I think that they should be allowed to vote in the primaries if there turning 18 because they won't really have any difference from that time span. You can change their minds by peacefully protesting. I think that 17 year olds are just as smart as 18 year olds just a year younger.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Gabby
Mr. Hanna/JRHS
I think that the average 17-year-old doesn't require enough maturity level and knowledge than rather a person who is 21 years old. I don't think 17 would be a good developed age so I feel 21 is right.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg JHS
Noah C.
Hanna/SJHS
I think that Vermont and other states are correct in allowing 17-year-olds to vote if they will be 18 for the general election. I think this because coming straight from high school, we will have a better remembrance of what we learned, since history doesn't want to repeat itself young students will know if a president wants to make a bad mistake. I think I would talk to a court with a lawyer and address my reasoning. If the concern comes up where 17-year-olds are not knowledgeable comes up, then i will address all of the debates that are broadcasted. I would also address the fact that history repeats itself and how students have more knowledge from the books than the adults because we remember them.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Angelina Truong
Mr. Hanna SJHS
I myself like the way Vermont is running their voting rights. If you're 17 and you will be 18 by the time the general election is you SHOULD be able to vote. Everyone know after all the adults are gone kids will be in charge of the world. Kids/Teens ARE the future. If you don't let us speak up somehow, how are we going to know what to do when it's our turn to rule? If I was 17 and I was trying to get officials to change their rules I would say the same, I would say "kids/teens are the future, so let us be the future. stop letting adults decide everything for us and let us decide for ourselves" I would address the concern of being knowledgeable to vote because we are informed about voting everyday from adults, we watch the tv, we keep up with everything. we know how everything is run already so we might as well start voting now.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Hannah S
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Yes, 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the primaries if they are to be 18 when the general election is held. I believe this because it is fair to them. If they are allowed to vote in the primaries they are in turn voting for who they want to elect in the general election. Everyone else of voting age is allowed to vote in the primaries and it would be completely and utterly fair if 17 year olds who are to be 18 got to vote too. The concern with them not being knowledgable enough is obsurd, because 17 year olds and 18 year olds are not that different knowledge wise. Also, lots of teenagers do want to be politically involved and many have opinions on who that want to lead their country. It will also introduce the interest in voting to the younger generation. So yes, 17 year olds should be allowed to vote.

3/13/2016
Rudyard/MT
Jalissa
Mrs. Campbell/ North Star
I think that it is perfectly fine to let a 17 year-old vote, if they are going to be 18 at the time of the election. This country seems desperate for votes, and its is always urging people to vote. However, I think that the 17-year-olds need to have some sort of government class, so that they are informed about our government. If that 17-year-old can make an informed decision, they should be able to vote.

3/7/2016
Youngstown Ohio
Cody
Ursuline high school
This is ridiculous, they waited until 10 days before the primary to do this so people would not have enough time to react. This is ireperable harm and we will never forget this. Taking my right to vote is the biggest tear in democracy I have seen yet.

3/2/2016
Sidney/MT
Harmonie
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I don't believe that 17 year olds should be able to vote. My belief is this because at that age a person doesn't fully understand politics yet and wouldn't be able to make good judgement on a proper candidate for a president. Also, if we were to push the age back one year then eventually they're going to be asking for 16 year olds to vote and 15 and younger. This would just bring about a lot of problems, because during the teen years before a government class all you have for an opinion on government is from your parents. So I think that if we were to push the age to 16 and then later on end up being younger that we would end up getting a lot of similar votes from the parent to child ratio. So my thoughts on this are that they don't need their voice to be heard until they are able to be considered an adult. At age 18 the world almost opens up to you and eventually you enter the world without your parents. Before that point a person doesn't understand what is actually going on and cannot always think for themself.

3/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Coleton
Mr. Faulhaber
I believe that if a teenager is inclined to vote, they must take a civics class that better helps them understand the issues that the presidential candidates are trying to push. a 17 year old can vote if they feel so inclined to. The issue is, especially with our area, most kids who take a civics based class are 18. Not that it's their choice, but civics class is for senior students only. However, if a student so chooses to take said class before their senior year in high school, they should pass it and then decide to vote. That way they have better understanding of the pressing issues.

3/2/2016
Sidney/ MT
Quinn
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I think that states like Vermont giving 17-year-olds the right to vote is a good idea. I think that giving 17-year-olds the right to vote in a primary election will get more people interested in voting. Having the age to vote set at 17 could make people more interested in voting and getting involved in primary elections. I think allowing 17-year-olds to vote would be a good idea for elections.

2/11/2016
Murrieta/Ca
Kayla
Jabro/Creekside
I think that Vermont and the 17 other states that are giving 17 year olds the right to vote ate taking a good step forward. I personally don't believe that there's much of a maturity difference between a 17 and 18 year old. I also believe this will help increase the numbers of voter because many people don't vote because they think it doesn't matter. The only real reason adulthood legally starts at 18 is because the army needed adults to serve so they made the age limit 18.

2/3/2016
Washington NJ
Hunter
Warren Hills
I think that Vermont and the 17 other states that are giving 17 year olds the right to vote if they will be 18 by the time of the general elections is the right move. Because by then we already have so much knowledge and are informed citizens, especially in this modern era. I would try to convince officials by representing just how knowledgeable we have become. We have many forms of social media like twitter, C-Span, Yahoo, etc. As opposed to when we didn't have this much access to candidates and breaking news stories, we do today and we should be rewarded for staying informed. Granted, there are some teenagers that have no clue what is going on today, but for us that want to vote and have a say, we should be able to. I would address the concern that 17-year-olds might not be knowledgeable enough to vote by saying that not everyone votes. If youre informed, you would vote and if you arent informed you probably would not.

1/28/2016
Washington/NJ
Lauren Walsh
Rokosny/ Warren Hills High School
I think that 17 year olds should be able to vote in the primary if they will be 18 by the time of the general election because at this age they are likely to have the same opinion as when they are 18. Knowing that their views will for the most part stay consistent, there is no educational change through that time period that will consistently change the views of those teenagers. Even though 17 year olds are close to the minimum age requirement, our generation is still educated enough to make our own opinions that even older generations may not.

1/28/2016
Wiliamsvile Illinois
Ethan
WJHS
Yes 17 year-olds should be allowed to vote in primaries that way the have some idea of what is going on when they vote in the general election.

1/27/2016
Washington/NJ
Robert
Rokosney/Warren Hills
The age gap between true 18 year olds and those who will turn 18 by the time of the general election do not differ in the slightest. Education-wise, most, if not all of the 2 age groups share the same grade level and in turn, the same, with some discrepancies, intelligence level. Additionally, it would probably be more beneficial to the political system if the 17 going on 18 year olds were permitted to vote, as it would stimulate an early onset sense of partisanship in the political system. Why not allow the new "adults" to gain political freedoms as they transition from high school to the real world.

1/26/2016
Washington/NJ
Emily Q
Rokosny/Warren Hills
17 year olds should be able to vote in the primary if they will be 18 by the time of the general election. 17 year olds are just as capable of producing a mature and knowledgable opinion on who they want to vote for just as well as an 18 year old would be able to do so. It would just be a matter of months until that 17 year old becomes an 18 year old and their would not be much difference in education or intelligence.

1/23/2016
Washington/NJ
Sean
Rokosny/Warren Hills
A 17 year old who will be turning 18 by the time of the Presidential Election should be allowed to vote in the Primary election. Age doesn’t indicate knowledge or maturity. There are many 17 year old's who are more informed in politics then the majority of adults. We shouldn’t disfranchise a 17 year old who will be 18 in the general election. We should be encouraging laws like this because they spread patriotism and encourage young people to vote.

1/22/2016
Washington New Jersey
Jacob
Rokosny/Warren Hills
Allowing 17 year olds to vote would not be such a bad idea. Although some think that 17 year olds aren't mature enough and don't know enough about politics to vote, they are sadly mistaken. The age of 17 is nearing the end of your high school career. By this time the individual should have learned about all of americas past and have a good grasp on civics. While it is true that many 17 year olds are ignorant to their political surroundings and may have a very uneducated vote, these same 17 year olds probably wont vote for the very same reasons. Therefore by allowing 17 year olds to vote the educated 17 year olds who deserve to vote will and the uneducated ones wont vote because they wont care enough therefore 17 year olds should be able to vote.

1/22/2016
washington ner jersey
jack
rokosny warren hills
i think if seventeen year olds were able to vote it would cause mass pandemonium. not really, i think it would be a good idea. if they are seventeen and want to vote in the primary they are educated and mature enough to handle the high pressure situation that is the us voting scene. they know the candidates and are passionate about their choice. they have been looking forward to this day for a long time and have patiently awaited their chance to partake in the american democracy. i support this idea.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Andy Q.
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I think 17-year olds should be allowed to vote in primary elections if they turn 18 by the time of the general election. I see the voting age (18) as a rough guideline that can be manipulated, rather than a stringent rule. Ultimately, since these 17-year olds will vote in the general election they should be able to take part in the process it takes to get there. In the end, the Electoral College is here to protect the country in case any undesirable candidates are elected.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Brian Q.
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills
I do not think that 17 year olds should be able to vote in the primary elections if they will be eighteen by the time of the general election. This is because a 17 year old does not have the rights or consequences (such as being tried as an adult) that an 18 year old adult has. People are legally considered adults at age 18, so the youngest age that people should be able to vote at is 18.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Joseph
Mrs. Rokosny/ Warren Hills Regional High School
I think this is a great idea. Especially if they will be allowed to vote in the election. They should be able to choose who they will eventually vote for. As for the argument saying that they are not educated enough, it is only one year at most before they can vote. So there would not be much in a difference of intellect. Anyway, statistically there is not much of a difference in education between 17 and 18 year olds.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Anthony L.
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I think that seventeen year olds should be allowed to vote in primaries if they would be eighteen by the general election. Without this rule, those eighteen year olds who vote in the general election would have no say in who their political party's nominee is. I think the small age discrepancy between seventeen and eighteen year olds is negligible in this situation.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Vitaliya
Rokosny/Warren Hills High School
Seventeen-year-olds should be able to vote and that is because at seventeen, teenagers are able to form their own opinion. Although, young adults are not involved in government, as in taking office, they are still educated because of their opportunity in school to be educated in government and politics and their openness to social media and the media in general, which educates them about politics and officials. In addition to, teenagers would be introduced to the "real" world, as many people classify the adult world, causing America to progress.

1/22/2016
Washington, NJ
Brian
Mrs. Rokosny
I think that 17 year olds that will be able to vote in the general presidential election should be able to vote in primary elections as well. A 17 year old may have a specific candidate in mind prior to the presidential election, but that candidate has not fully secured a nomination. If 17 year olds can vote in primaries, then they can support a candidate of their choosing rather than choosing one of the Democratic or Republican nominees.

1/22/2016
Washington / New Jersey
Ryan
Rokosny / Warren Hills
From my experience a lot of 17 year olds are not fully mature and do not know enough about politics and government to cast a vote. By allowing expanding the electorate it greatly increases the chances of a politician who is not fit for government to win the election. Plus I feel already that the voting age is low already, since 18 year olds aren't able to buy alcohol but are able to greatly change the structure and format of our national government.

1/22/2016
Washington, NJ
Sarvani
Rokosny/Warren Hills High School
I think that 17 year olds who are turning 18 during the general election should be allowed to vote during the primary. Maturity is not based on age and just because one is 18, does not mean that they are any more mature than 17 year olds. If the 18 year olds are planning on voting for who our president is going to be, then they should also get a say in who is going to be the actual candidates. By exposing them to this voting environment, they also dont become turned off to voting because of the confusion of the elections. This will do more benefit than harm and it will help the democracy of our society.

1/22/2016
NJ
Amanda
Warren Hills HS
I believe 17 year olds should be allowed to vote because our youth has great exposure to resources that older generations do not take advantage of. My generation is informed about candidates and important news articles through the internet that many older people do not have the time or interest to stay up to date on. Older people tend to not care about what is going on because they are busy with their lives. Our generation seems to question authority more than before which puts us in a good position to vote for "realer" politicians and spot fakes better than the brainwashed generations. Although some 17 year olds may be uneducated or immature but that is the case for people of all ages.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Julie
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I think it's okay to allow citizens that are 17 years old to vote in the primary elections if they will be 18 years old by the general election. In a couple months they will be of age and if they plan to vote there is no harm in voting a few months earlier. If they plan to vote the first year they can they must have enough background knowledge and passion about there chosen candidate.

1/22/2016
Washington/NJ
Dylan
Rokosny/Warren Hills
As far as maturity is concerned, turning 17 and 18 both have their incentives. Upon turning 17, one's rite of passage is earning the privilege of driving. At the age of 18, voting and being treated as a legal adult is your privilege. Ultimately, I believe that having the ability to vote at the age is 17 based on the fact that you are not an adult yet. Granted that Vermont is given the privilege to vote at the age of 17, it does not make it morally right to let someone who is not legal to vote. In my opinion, I believe that you have to be an adult on record to vote.

1/15/2016
murrieta, CA
casey h.
mr.Jabro
In my opinion, A lot of 17 year olds are not fully matured surprisingly so that could make their votes a bit dangerous if they arent educated enough to fully understand who and why they're voting for whoever they pick. Then again, I think 17 year olds should vote because they are only a year or less away from 18. I think voting should stay how it is, it would make it possible for more votes. I could see it working

1/14/2016
CA
Kevin
Mr. Jabro
17-year-olds should be allowed to vote for candidates during primary elections considering by the time the general elections come around they will be of legal age to vote, I personally see no reason why they shouldn't. If my state didn't allow for 17-year-olds to vote in the primaries the most effective way to address that would be to write to a state senator or the governor and voice my concern to them to get them to consider amending their constitution. For people to say that 17-year-olds aren't mature or knowledgeable enough to vote is ridiculous, yes, some 17-year-olds should never vote a day in their lives but the same argument can be made for many 40+ year old citizens who have the ability to vote in every election.

12/17/2015
Murrieta/California
Joshua Garcia
Mr. Jabro/Creekside High School
I believe, that 17 year-old's should be allowed to vote if they will be 18 by the time of general election because a short period of time between 17 and 18 is not near enough time for an individual to gain much expertise. The states should allow this idea and we should try and convince them by signing a petition to change the current law.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
JonathanP5
Wong/Lorbeer
No, I do not think 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primary election even if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. The reason the voting age is 18, is it that if you're 18 you are no longer a minor, you may have more knowledge or insight, or even have matured further and have made an educated decision on what/who to vote for. Even if the 17-year-olds are only allowed to vote for the candidate, they may not know enough in the field of politics and vote for a random person, and that person may not be the best option for this country.

12/11/2015
Dimand Bar/CA
AndyP5
Wong/Lorbeer
I do not believe that 17 year old people should be allowed to vote because they are young and not educated enough to know who they are voting for. Also there still growing up and their brains haven't fully developed yet so they can hear a rumor or a false statement about a person running for office and will believe what they say. They also might not even care who to vote for and just guess like on a test question they do not know about so they will not make the right choice.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar/California
Jon-CesarP.4
Wong/Lorbeer
I think 17 year-olds should have the right to vote in the primary election. I believe even the young people in our nation deserve a say on what happens in our government. 18 states also recognize their rights. The age of 17 is a very appropriate age for a person to vote. They are just learning to drive, maybe getting or already have a job, and are entering what some call "the real world". Some may say that 17 year-olds aren't educated enough to vote. If that is so then maybe our high school students should start to be educated on this subject so that the idea of young people voting is more accepted by the people of our society.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
BraedynP4
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that 17-year-olds should be made to meet certain requirements before getting permission to vote, even if they become 18 by the general election. Sure, some may think they should get equal say in the election. But they should be tested to see if they are truly ready to vote. Any 17-year-old may be a citizen worthy of getting to vote. However, there are also those who cannot handle the responsibility. But since a test such as this does not yet exist, I do not think anyone should be allowed to vote until meeting the proper age requirements.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
BraedynP4
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that if the 17-year-old is 18 by the general election, they should still be made to meet certain requirements before given permission to vote. Sure, it's only fair they get a say in the election. But

12/10/2015
Pomona, CA
AnyssaP1
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that 17-year-olds should not be able to vote in the primary election if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. I believe this because many 17-year-olds are still in high school, and they are not mature enough yet. They also might not be educated in politics or government issues. Other 17-year-olds might just vote for a random candidate because they don't care, or might now know what they're doing, but since they have the opportunity to vote, they think they should take advantage of it. The 26th Amendment clearly states that "The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age." There is no where in the 26th amendment stating that 17-year-olds are allowed to vote, therefore, it is unconstitutional.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar/CA
RubenP4
Wong/Lorbeer
I personally think that 17 year olds should not be allowed to vote even if they will turn 18 by the time of the general elections. My reasoning for this is because some may not be educated yet on anything that has to do with politics. Also, if they do not know, they may just end up voting for a random person. This would be a major problem because a majority of people who choose randomly may vote for the same person, which could seriously affect our country because the person that could end up winning the election may not have as much experience as the person most people want to elect.

12/10/2015
Hoover, Alabama
James
Todd Parker/ Spain Park
I think 17 year olds should be able to vote if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. My reasoning for this is if they are going to be able to vote when the general election comes out, they should be able to vote for who they would like to be in the election.

12/9/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
EmilyG P4
Wong/Lorbeer
I do not think 17 year olds should be able to vote in the primary election. My reasoning for this is that they (some) aren't educated on political things. Also, they might not care and vote a random person. This would be a problem because that random person they choose might not be a good choice.

12/6/2015
Diamond Bar/ California
DylanP.5
Wong/Lorbeer
I don't think that 17-year olds should be able to vote in primary elections. I think this because, they are not educated enough. In fact, I don't think that they even care. They will probably just pick a random person. It clearly states in the 26th amendment " The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote...." 17-year olds should not be able to vote in a primary election.

12/4/2015
MA
Erica
Rimas
I don't think 17 year olds should be allowed to vote. I don't think they are educated enough or even care at this age.

12/4/2015
Watertown
Abiral
Rimas
17 year olds should be vote if theyre close to turning 18 when the elections are helded.

12/4/2015
02472
Anna
Me. Rimas
I think that people who know there history should be able to vote. If they don't know and they are just voting to vote then they shouldn't be able to vote.

12/4/2015
Watertown
Michael G
John Rimas
I think 17 year olds should be able to make votes in primary elections because we are responsible enough to drive cars so I believe we are responsible and educated enough to make a vote

12/4/2015
Watertown
Michael G
John Rimas
I think 17 year olds should be able to make votes in primary elections because we are responsible enough to drive cars so I believe we are responsible and educated enough to make a vote

12/4/2015
Watertown/MA
Nathan
Rimas
Any voters who will be of voting age by the general election should have the right to vote in the primary elections that same year. In presidential elections, primary elections can often make much more difference than the general election. In many states, the general election is a foregone conclusion. Massachusetts will always vote for the democratic candidate, Texas will always vote Republican, and a majority of states will be decided months before the general election. For voters in these decided states, choosing the party's presidential candidate can make all the difference. Choosing the correct candidate to represent your party in a general election can vastly shift public perception of your political party, often making a difference in the outcome of the general election. It can be argued that 17 year olds are not well-infirmed enough to vote in an election, but high school seniors are in the midst of their last state-mandated social studies courses of their lives. After high school, the knowledge base built up in the last few years will gradually dissipate. To make this change, I would contact my local congressman and make the argument for Massachusetts 17-year olds. I will be able to vote in the November 2016 general elction, but my vote will be a drop in the democratic bucket. If I was able to vote in the primary election, I could make a tangible difference in the election.

12/4/2015
Watertown Ma
Ekta
Watertown/ Rimas
17 years old should Be allowed to vote. It's not right to say that 17 year old are not mature enough to vote.

11/17/2015
Murrieta, Ca
Micah W
Jabro/Creekside High School
17-year-olds should be allowed to vote for candidates during primary elections considering by the time the general elections come around they will be of legal age to vote, I personally see no reason why they shouldn't. If my state didn't allow for 17-year-olds to vote in the primaries the most effective way to address that would be to write to a state senator or the governor and voice my concern to them to get them to consider amending their constitution. For people to say that 17-year-olds aren't mature or knowledgeable enough to vote is ridiculous, yes, some 17-year-olds should never vote a day in their lives but the same argument can be made for many 40+ year old citizens who have the ability to vote in every election.

11/16/2015
Murrieta, CA
Corey
Jabro/Creekside High School
17 year old's should be allowed to vote in the primary election if they will turn 18 by the time of the general election. The time it takes for them to turn 18 there is no major difference between your maturity the second you turn eighteen, so restricting their right to vote in the primary elections is only hurting their chance of having a voice in elections at all.

11/16/2015
Murrieta/CA
Joshua Garcia
Mr. Jabro/ Creekside high school
I believe that 17 year-olds should not be allowed to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the time of the general election because this will throw off the natural order of the way America has been run. At this age majority of minors will still be immature and not old enough to make wise decisions. Therefore, waiting til 18 is a good base mark for voting when majority of kids are now adults and out of high school in the real world where they have learned how to make mature decisions. Thus, mature/wise voting decisions.

11/13/2015
Murrieta, Ca
Jakob
Mr. Jabro - Creekside High School
No, I think that 17 year old' s should not be aloud to vote in the primary elections. Because on some of the people could still be in high school and two they aren't even old enough to vote on the general election. But i also think the Should be aloud to because if your old enough o join the military your old enough to vote

11/12/2015
Diamond,CA
SharonP5
Wong/Lorbeer
After reading this article, I do not think that 17-year olds should be eligible to vote in the primary election if they become 18 by the time of the general election. Some teenagers are not yet mature enough to vote for their representatives. There are a handful of students who know nothing about politics and how the government works. This could greatly effect who the teenagers vote for. They wouldn't know who would best suit our country.

11/8/2015
Diamond Bar/California
LucasP4
Wong/Lorbeer
Yes, I think 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the primary election if they will be eighteen by the time of the general election. If your state doesn’t allow you to vote in the primary election as a 17-year-old, you could get some people to write a petition and then gain a lot of support from voters who would also like that, and then the state might change the law. 17-year-olds should be knowledgeable enough to vote, especially if they are almost 18, as it said they have to be 18 when the general election starts.

11/6/2015
Charlottesville Virginia
Luke
Monticello
No. 17 year olds should not be able to vote in any elections. You are legally an adult at the age of 18 and it should stay that way, and if 17 year olds were Alowed to vote than the legal age of an adult should also change

11/6/2015
Murrieta, CA
Xiara
Jabro/ Creekside
I agree with Vermont in the sense that 1--year-olds can vote in primary elections if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. I personally believe that if the 17 year old has taken a United States Government class and can prove it, that 17-year-old should be given the right to vote. I feel that a huge issue with minors voting is that they are not properly education of America, it's history and what it stands for and needs to continue to stand for. I do believe that with the right education provided, 17-year-olds should be given the right to vote.

11/6/2015
murrieta
isaac
jabro
under the right situation, 17 year olds should be able to vote. if the person knows about politics he or she should be able to vote. giving the right to vote to people that dont really care shouldnt vote.

11/6/2015
Murrieta,CA
Davin C
Jabro/Creekside High School
In my opinion, it is fair if young adults want to be active in politics. If a 17 year old will be 18 before general elections, it shouldn't be a problem if he/she wants to vote. If young people want to be active in our countries politics, than we will only become stronger and more educated as a whole.

11/4/2015
murrieta ca
Austen h
Jabro
I think 17 year old should be able to vote in the primary election if their birthday is near the general election. The argument of being knowledgeable enough can be avoided by offering students an education on elections and the information about it. Giving them the information needed so they can form an educated selection on who they want to vote for.

11/3/2015
Diamond Bar California
Shivani Patel
Mrs. Wong Lorbeer Middle school
I think that seventeen year old should vote because if they are voting in the primary election they should be able to vote in general election. It's not that much time between these two elections. The more people who vote the more people's voices will be heard. I would try to fix this by writing a letter to my congressman or by writing a petition a a getting people to sign it. I could also ask my friends and community member to write a letter to the congressman.

11/3/2015
Murrieta CA
McKenzie Milligan
Jabro, Creekside High School
I think that 17 year olds have the same right to vote as 18 year olds do. Just one years age difference doesnt mean that they dont have an opinion.

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