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Testimony on H.680, An Act relative to youth voting and civic participation

June 24, 2019


Dear Chairs Finegold and Lawn,


Thank you for allowing me to provide testimony for House Bill 680, An Act relative to youth voting and civic participation. Some of the people most affected by our elections do not get the chance to fully express their voice.


Over ⅓ of the states already have laws on the books allowing 17-year olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 by the general election (1). Right now these youth are able to make a choice, however that choice is usually only between 2 people, and they have no say in who those 2 people are. They may not have the chance to vote for the candidate that they truly support. Youth are some of our most ardent campaign supporters during election season. They have shown that when given the opportunity to make their voice heard, they will use it.


This bill enhances our democracy in the commonwealth by extending it to a segment of our population that has been partially disenfranchised. This bill will help to create a culture of civic engagement that will hopefully last a lifetime for these young people.



Thank you for allowing me to make the case for this bill to give young people an equal opportunity to voice their opinion in our elections.


1) http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/primaries-voting-age.aspx


Sincerely,



Maria Robinson

State Representative

6th MIDDLESEX DISTRICT


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