A bill that gives 17-year-olds the right to vote in a presidential primary if they’ll be 18-years-old prior to the November election, overwhelmingly passed the House Tuesday evening by a vote of 135 to 12.
Last year the bill passed in the House but fell 9 votes short of the three quarters majority it needed in the House and was not raised for a vote in the Senate. Click here to remember what happened last year.
Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, the bill’s proponent said the Senate needs to pass it with 24 votes in order for it to be put on the ballot this November. All Connecticut voters will be given an opportunity to weigh in on the subject since it changes the state constitution.
“Of course, we still have a long way to go before this becomes law and I look forward to working with senators on both sides of the aisle to open up our electoral process for the next generation of voters” Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz said in a press release.
In the past several years, nine other states in the nation have passed measures that allow 17 year-olds to vote in primaries so long as they turn 18 by the general election
“Today, more than any other time in recent memory, young people across Connecticut are interested and involved in the political process,” said Bysiewicz. “In this time of economic insecurity, war, and environmental peril, young people clearly want a say in the direction of this country; allowing them a head-start in becoming involved in civic life just makes sense and will go a long way in creating life-long voters.”
Over the last 5 months, more than 55,000 residents have registered to vote. More than 13,000 of the newly registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 29.