17-Year-Olds Now Voting in 2020 Elections & Proposed Bill for 16-17-Year Olds to Vote for School Board Members

Beginning in 2020, 17-year-olds can vote in Colorado elections for the first time, provided they turn 18 by the general election in November, this year set for November 3rd.

In the primary Presidential election March 3, 2020, about 24,000 in 17-year-olds in Colorado were eligible to vote.

Many younger people aren’t aware yet of the new legislation and only a few thousand turned in ballots this year in Colorado, which has 3.9 million registered voters so turnout wasn’t high in the first primary.

At least seven other states and the District of Columbia have similar statutes, allowing 17-year-old to vote on the books.

Another Colorado bill that would empower youth is being presented in the House allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections and if it passes Colorado would be the first state to allow this

The Secretary of State’s Office has said its supportive of more people participating in our democracy, and especially in empowering young people and is analyzing logistics.

Others are exploring an additional idea of having a student serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the school board and/or expanding the practice of convening youth/student school boards that can bring ideas to elected and other officials, including school board members and superintendents.

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