Our View: Why voting no on Amendment 76 is bipartisan action
Ballot wording can be a controversial issue. Upon first impression, proposed Amendment 76 seems like a pretty reasonable concept. It’s hardly a radical sentiment to feel that a country’s citizens, that are of legal age, should be the only ones allowed to vote in elections.
An easy gut reaction to reading this ballot question would be to vote yes to ensure that voting in elections isn’t extended to non-citizens or people under 18 years of age. But before you do that, we suggest you do some more reading.
The amendment focuses on Colorado primaries, which currently allow 17- year-olds to participate, so long as they turn 18 before the election. For example, in this election, a 17-year-old Coloradan who is turning 18 before Election Day was able to participate in the primary of their chosen political party, to help secure the candidates they would vote for, in an election of which they will be of legal age.
Amendment 76 would amend Section 1 of Article VII of the Colorado Constitution and change this condition by implementing a policy where someone has to be 18 before participating in a primary. This has nothing to do with citizenship, nor the legal voting age in general elections. It is written to keep 17-year-old voters out of primaries; and for that reason, we are endorsing a no vote on Amendment 76.
When it comes to voting, young people could use all the encouragement we can give them. Measures like Amendment 76 could frustrate and deter young Coloradans who are eager to be involved in elections. Primaries have long served as a vessel for young voters to do exactly that.
Furthermore, Amendment 76 was not crafted in Colorado, but by a Florida-based 501(c)(4) organization that has supported similar measures to amend state constitutions nationwide. Do we really want this out-of-state organization meddling in the Colorado Constitution?
The current system works just fine. Young Republicans vote in their Republican primary, young Democrats vote in their primary, and young Independents choose which party’s primary they want to join. Wanting more eligible people to be politically involved, no matter their party, should be a bipartisan stance, which is why we are saying vote no on Amendment 76.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Vail Daily Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd, Vail Daily Advertising Director Holli Snyder and Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller.
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