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Put Teens in the Voting Booth?

March 14, 2004

Re "Giving New Meaning to 'Youth Vote,' " March 9: In 1971, 18-year-olds won the right to vote. They felt that if they were able to die for their country, they should be able to choose who was sending them. In a sense, that is what we as teenagers are asking. We are asking to choose who will affect our lives financially. We may not be old enough to fight the war going on now, but the decisions being made by our government will not only affect our generation but our generation's children, and we should have some influence.

I am a junior attending Chatsworth High, and this topic has been brought up several times during class periods. I do not agree with the proposal made by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), but I feel that it is a good start. We need to reduce the voting age to 16. This would be subject to the successful completion of a government/economics class at high school. Teenagers today are ready, willing and able to accept the responsibility of making educated choices at the polls.

Joe Benoun

West Hills

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Voting at 14? I am 17, still not yet of legal voting age, and I find this proposal by the Legislature to be pure madness. What was I interested in at 14? Movies, music ... nowhere near the appropriate maturity level. The thing to focus on is educating youth on politics and the importance of their vote. Give them the vote right away, no questions, and you've got the next American Idol as president.

Faith Reynado

Garden Grove

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