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Lower voting age to 16 for municipal elections

San Antonio - like the state of Texas - has a persistent and dire low voter turnout problem.. Specifically, a low youth voter turnout problem (most voters in San Antonio are over 50). Roughly 24% of all San Antonio residents are under 18 years old. Voter turnout for municipal elections in San Antonio has remained below 18% since 1997 - dropping to 7% in 2011.

 

To help address low overall and youth voter turnout and encourage lifelong habits of voting, two municipalities in MD have recently lowered the voting age in municipal elections to 16. San Francisco is currently considering a similar measure.

 

Cities that have lowered the voting age to 16 in municipal elections have received positive national and global attention as well as high turnout amongst teens (in Takoma Park, MD, 44% compared with 11% overall in a recent municipal election).

 

Voting has been part of San Antonio's governance since the Spanish colonial era,, with the right to vote expanding with time. A next step for San Antonio should be to lower the voting age in municipal elections to 16, including to help address low overall and youth voter turnout locally.

 

http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/gov-maryland-city-sees-high-turnout-among-teens-after-election-reform.html

 

http://blog.mysanantonio.com/politics/2013/05/these-dismal-voter-turnout-numbers-will-shatter-your-faith-in-democracy/

 

http://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/elaine_ayala/article/Texas-should-learn-from-states-that-led-in-voter-5897157.php

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/takoma-park-grants-16-year-olds-right-to-vote/2013/05/14/b27c52c4-bccd-11e2-89c9-3be8095fe767_story.html

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/hyattsville-becomes-second-city-in-the-us-to-lower-voting-age-to-16/2015/01/07/24a7c8be-95c7-11e4-aabd-d0b93ff613d5_story.html

 

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/sf-seeks-to-become-first-major-city-to-lower-voting-age-to-16/Content?oid=2923730

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Idea No. 23