By CBSLA Staff


LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — California voters have rejected Proposition 18, which would have amended the state constitution to allow 17-year-olds to register and vote in primary elections if they turned 18 by the November general election, the Associated Press projected.

With 76.24% of precincts reporting, the Associated Press has projected that Proposition 18 will fail.

With 76.24% of precincts reporting Thursday evening, the measure was losing by a margin of 55.21% to 44.79% — a difference of nearly 1.3 million votes.

The proposition sought to amend the state’s constitution, following suit with Washington, D.C., and at least 18 states that have enacted similar measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The civic engagement of young people was part of the reason supporters urged the passage of the measure. Advocates said any chance to get people in the habit of voting should be encouraged.

Besides, they said, young people whose birthdays fall between the primary and the general election are at an unfair disadvantage.

“Without full exposure to the election process, they are unable to submit their most educated vote in the general election,” the California Association of Student Councils said.

The Election Integrity Project California, the main opponent to Prop. 18, said that 17-year-olds were still considered children under the law and had no business deciding elections.

“They are almost all still living at home and under the strong influence of their parents,” the group said. “This is not conducive to independent thought and voting without undue pressure from their immediate superiors.”

And with most 17-year-olds still in high school, they also would be under the influence of their instructors, many of whom would push the agendas of powerful teachers unions, opponents said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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