State Rep. James Spallone is right: War, global environmental challenges and a faltering economy underscore the stakes that are facing the next generation. It's only fair they be given a greater voice in the electoral process and in shaping their fate.
Mr. Spallone, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and other lawmakers are championing a proposal that would give 17-year-olds the right to vote in primaries provided they turn 18 by Election Day. The change would require an amendment to the Connecticut Constitution and the approval of voters during a general election.
As Ms. Bysiewicz has pointed out, 17-year-olds are old enough to enlist in the military. Giving them the right to vote in Connecticut would remove a strange inequity that denies young men and women a voice in the political process, yet encourages them to lay down their lives to defend it.
We're also hopeful the participation of young people in elections can influence political debate, nudging policy-makers to think more about the consequences of today's decisions for the next generation.
Finally, lowering the voting age may encourage young people to get more engaged in the world they're inheriting and to become lifelong participants in the public arena.
So far, at least nine states have adopted a similar law. Connecticut lawmakers should support this proposal and give state residents a chance to decide.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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