On Wednesday, January 22, 2020 MBLLC members joined fellow member Rep. Andy Vargas in support of legislation he filed known as the EMPOWER Act. The bill, a legislative priority for the MBLLC, would eliminate the need for a home rule petition from those municipalities that would like to lower the voting age to 16.
While before the Joint Committee on Election Laws, and on the behalf of the MBLLC, Chairman Carlos González spoke on the merits of the bill and on why it is so important for the communities we serve. Chairman González pointed to Takoma Park, Maryland as an example of success. This D.C. suburb lowered their voting age to 16, and as a result, there was a 44% turnout rate for 16 and 17 year olds following its implementation. Comparatively, the overall turnout for that same year was 11%. Takoma Park is among Austria, Brazil, and Argentina who have also lowered their voting age to 16.
MBLLC member Rep. Nika Elugardo also testified in support of the bill, as did the other to sponsors of the bill: Rep. Dylan Fernandes and Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler.
Information about the bill is included in the attachment below.
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.