SF Supervisors to consider lower voting age

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The Board of Supervisors is expected today to vote on a proposal that would allow voters to decide in November if the city's voting age should be lowered to 16.

If voters approve the charter amendment during the fall election, San Francisco would be the first major U.S. city to allow citizens younger than 18 to cast a ballot.

The idea was first introduced by the San Francisco Youth Commission, whose members have argued that the current generation of 16- and 17-year-olds are more engaged with politics, have more access to information and are emotionally and intellectually ready to vote.

Supervisor John Avalos brought the idea to the other supervisors and at least six of them, the minimum needed to get the measure on the ballot, have expressed support for it.

Some students at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco said they support the proposal.

"There are some issues that a teenager wouldn't be completely interested in," said Corina Dixson. "But it's less about the proposition and more about being able to vote."

Said teacher Erin Kayser: "They're more involved in politics when they're in their 20s because it's not new to them in their 20s. It was something that (began) four or five years before."

If the proposal does make it to the ballot and is approved, it could add up to 3,000 new voters  to the election rolls. And some critics have raised questions about lowering the voting age below 18, the country's legal age of adulthood.