ROANOKE, Va. – Delegate Sam Rasoul submitted a bill Monday to be introduced in the 2023 General Assembly. The bill will allow 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections.
HJ 459 will address the need for young people to have their voices heard politically, the release said.
“What we saw in the midterm elections is that Gen Z came out to vote,” said Del. Rasoul. “They were more involved than people have given them credit for and the reality is if we can get 16 and 17 year old’s the ability to vote in at least local elections, it will empower them to think about their civil responsibility.”
One in eight voters overall was under 30 in this year’s midterm elections, said exit pollsters with the Associated Press. That makes it the second-highest turnout for the age group in midterm election history.
“16 and 17-year-olds are able to work and contribute to our society but are not able to vote on decisions that impact their doing so,” the release said. “Young people are disproportionately impacted by major political issues such as the climate crisis, regional planning, gun violence, and the education system.”
HJ 459 will be heard following the convening of the 2023 legislative session.
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