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L.A. School Board to Study Lowering Voting Age to 16 in District Elections

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Taking on an issue with potentially broad implications for the power dynamic in the nation's second-largest district, the Los Angeles school board voted unanimously last week to approve a resolution directing the superintendent to report on the feasibility—including costs—of a 2020 ballot measure that would lower the voting age to 16 in school district elections.

An estimated additional 60,500 residents would be eligible to vote if such a ballot measure passed.

The board action is preliminary. Los Angeles city officials would have to put a measure on the ballot for voters in the district to approve. But the school board's buy-in is an important first step.

Berkeley, Calif., voters in 2016 approved lowering the voting age to 16 for school board elections, though San Francisco voters narrowly rejected a measure to expand voting rights for 16- and 17-year-olds for school board and community college elections and local candidates and ballot measures.

Opponents had similar concerns to those expressed by some on the Los Angeles board: Teenagers may lack life experience or knowledge to make informed decisions. –TNS

Vol. 38, Issue 31, Page 5

Published in Print: May 1, 2019, as L.A. School Board to Study Lowering Voting Age to 16 in District Elections
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