To: The Connecticut State House, The Connecticut State Senate, and Governor Ned Lamont

Give Connecticut 17 year-olds the Right to Vote

Amend the Connecticut Constitution: let 17 year-olds vote in general elections.

Why is this important?

Under Connecticut state law, 17 year-olds may work, drive, legally consent to sexual relations, and even stand trial in adult criminal court for certain crimes. They contribute to state revenues through sales and employment taxes. They can serve in the armed forces. They are required to complete a course in civics education in order to graduate from high school. And, as of 2008, they have had the right to vote in primary elections (provided they turn 18 before the general election).

Yet, despite these various responsibilities, Connecticut's 17 year-olds are barred from participating in general elections. Giving these youth the right to vote will breathe new life into stagnant public debates surrounding education reform, juvenile justice policy, environmental protection, and a host of other important issues that uniquely affect young people. Moreover, it will encourage Connecticut’s youth to take a more active role in civic life and help them to develop a long-term interest in government and politics.

We therefore call on state lawmakers to amend the state constitution and lower Connecticut's voting age to 17 for general elections.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • A 17 year-old who may work, consent to sexual relations, serve in the armed forces, and have the possibility to stand trial in adult criminal court should have the right to participate in general elections. Civic responsibility demands participation.
  • If 17 year olds can be punished under adult criminal laws, they should have the right to exert political control over the content of those laws.