January 22, 2020
From The Lowell Sun – State lawmakers will have the opportunity to review two bills that have the potential to revive interest in local politics and drive voter turnout. Both measures would allow teens as young as 16 to vote in municipal elections.
They were scheduled for public hearings before the Joint Committee on Election Laws at the Statehouse today. Rep. Andy Vargas, D- Haverhill, and Sen. Harriette Chandler, D- Worcester, who filed the Empower Act in the House and Senate, respectively, indicated that at least nine cities and towns in the commonwealth have asked to be given the authority to lower the voting age for municipal elections.
A town meeting in Concord passed an article seeking to lower that community’s voting age to 17, while other municipalities, including Ashfield and Cambridge, have advocated in recent years to allow 16or 17- year- olds to cast ballots in local races, but have had no success getting the necessary home- rule petitions approved by the Legislature.
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