New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1568-2021    Version: * Name: Proposing an amendment to the NYS Constitution to lower the voting age to 16. (S. 2272A/A. 2800A)
Type: Resolution Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Governmental Operations
On agenda: 3/18/2021
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass S. 2272A/A. 2800A, a resolution proposing an amendment to the New York State Constitution to lower the voting age to 16.
Sponsors: James G. Van Bramer
Council Member Sponsors: 1
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 1568, 2. March 18, 2021 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 3. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 3-18-21

Res. No. 1568

 

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass S. 2272A/A. 2800A, a resolution proposing an amendment to the New York State Constitution to lower the voting age to 16.

 

By Council Member Van Bramer

 

Whereas, The 26th Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that the voting rights of citizens who are at least 18 years of age shall not be denied or abridged on account of age; and

Whereas, Article 2, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution and section 5-102 of New York State Election Law require citizens to be at least 18 years of age to vote; and

Whereas, In January 2019, the New York State Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, legislation to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, provided that their registrations will not be effective and they may not vote in an election until they are 18; and

Whereas, 18 states and the District of Columbia permit 16- or 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote; and

Whereas, 25 states allow citizens under 18 to vote in primaries or caucuses if they will be 18 by the date of the general election; and

Whereas, Beginning with Takoma Park, Maryland in 2013, four towns in Maryland allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections; and

Whereas, 16- and 17-year-olds already participate independently in society, carrying out adult responsibilities such as driving, paying taxes, and working without restrictions on their hours; and

Whereas, 16- and 17-year-olds deserve a say in public policy issues that will affect them for decades to come, such as environmental policy, public education, and long-term government debt; and

Whereas, Research shows that voting is a habit-forming activity, and voting habits are formed early in life; and

Whereas, Starting to vote at 16 is a good time to form the habit of voting, as most 16-year-olds are still in school, live at home, and have not yet entered an often-transient period of young adulthood; and

Whereas, According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s 2018-2019 Voter Analysis Report, in New York City, voters between the ages of 18 and 29 have consistently had the lowest turnout among different age groups across general elections in midterm, presidential, and citywide election years, ranging from a low of 11 percent in 2014 to a high of 55 percent in 2016; and

Whereas, According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s 2019-2020 Voter Analysis Report, young voters increased their vote share dramatically between the 2015 and 2019 general elections (from 5.3 percent to 9.9 percent), they still represented the lowest share of voters in the 2019 election; and

Whereas, Lowering the voting age to 16 would give young people in New York City the opportunity to form lifelong voting habits earlier and could improve the participation rate of adults aged 18-29; and

Whereas, In January 2019, U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng, of New York’s 6th District, introduced H.J. Res. 23, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution extending the right to vote to citizens aged 16 years or older; and

Whereas, S. 2272A, introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman and pending in the New York State Senate, and companion bill A. 2800A, introduced by Robert Carroll and pending in the New York State Assembly, propose an amendment to the New York State Constitution to lower the voting age to 16; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass S. 2272A/A. 2800A, a resolution proposing an amendment to the New York State Constitution to lower the voting age to 16.

LS# 17245

2/22/21 10:15am

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