To the editor:
Tabled. Tabled again. Tabled again.
NH CACR 5 was a proposed amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution, allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election to vote in the corresponding primary.
This proposal has been put forth many times over the years, and yet is consistently tabled.
Surrounding states such as Maine and Vermont have progressed, allowing 17-year-olds to vote. Yet New Hampshire again remains an island.
As an academic fellow on a presidential campaign, yet someone whose 18th birthday falls the day after the Democratic primaries, I find it incredibly frustrating that I cannot vote for the candidate I have been working for for months.
This amendment was implemented in Illinois almost six years ago now, and in Chicago specifically, 17-year-old women turned out to vote at approximately 18.5 percent of those registered, exceeding every age group up to 54-year-old women.
Not only does voting young form a lifelong habit of being a participatory citizen, but time and time again, youth are the ones most willing to stand for change.
The youth formed March For Our Lives, walked out for climate strikes with Greta Thunberg, and are what make up many of these presidential campaigns going into 2020.
But the youth are the ones dealing with the repercussions that come with the inaction of our Legislature. People cannot pick and choose when the youth gets to come to the rescue, or decide that we’re mature enough to watch friends and fellow students die in our schools, but not to vote for candidates who have preventative plans.
I urge everyone to contact their legislators and for this to be brought forward again next session. The youth vote should not be suppressed if we are looking to enact real, lasting change in our community and our country.