17-Year-Old Voting in Primaries

17-Year-Old Primary Voting

FairVote advocates that states and political parties act to allow citizens who will be 18 years old on or before the general election to vote in their party’s corresponding primary or caucus. A notable portion of citizens who have the right to vote in the general election in November currently do not have a voice in determining who will be on that general election ballot. Granting voting rights in primaries and caucuses to these 17-year-olds is only fair and will increase their political engagement through participation. Policymakers can implement this reform by state law or party rule.

The Facts: 17-Year-Old Primary Voting

17-year-olds can vote in Congressional and/or Presidential primaries and caucuses in a large number of states, including Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Seventeen-year-olds may also vote in District of Columbia primaries.

Voting when young forms a lifetime habit:

 

How Parties Can Enact 17-Year-Old Voting

17-year-old primary and caucus voting does not require state legislative action. Many states adopting this policy have done so by state law, but others have by changing state party rules. 

Primary voting rights for 17-year-olds is legal and does not change the voting age.

 

State-by-State Facts: 17-Year-Old Voting in Primary Elections

 

 

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