Students push to lower voting age to 16

Students hold a news conference at the Oregon Capitol Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 to lobby for a voting age of 16. (KATU Photo)

The nationwide youth activism that emerged after the shooting in Parkland has led a group of Oregon students to lobby to lower the voting age to 16.

The students on Monday brought up issues ranging from gun control, to climate change, to equality. One advocate said young people deserve to form and voice their own opinions to address disparities they are facing too.

"If I can be tried as an adult, why can't I vote as an adult? I pay income tax like an adult, I drive like an adult, I can be charged and sentenced as an adult? Why is something as important as voting limited to our present and not our future?" said Christine Bynum, a student activist at La Salle High School.

The bill is a constitutional referral to the Oregon ballot, meaning voters would decide on lowering the age.

Meanwhile, Gov. Kate Brown is pushing to expand automatic voter registration and in her most recent budget she allocated $2.7 million to fully fund pre-paid postage on ballots.

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