What Vote on Proposition 18 Meant to Foothill Students


Maria Milligan/Foothill Forum

Narek Bunyatyan, Junior at Foothill High

A proposed constitutional amendment was on the Nov. 3 ballot  that would give California 17-year-olds the opportunity to voice their opinions on the matters of voting.

One of the propositions of this year’s presidential election was Proposition 18, the Primary Voting for 17-year-olds Amendment. It was on the ballot in California. A “yes” vote for this proposition supported the idea of allowing 17-year-olds who would be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary and special elections. A “no” vote opposed this amendment prohibiting 17-year-olds from voting in special and primary elections. 

Unfortunately, Proposition 18 was defeated by 12.08 percent. 

Narek Bunyatyan, a junior at Foothill, had a lot to say on the topic.

“I’m turning 18 next year and because I wasn’t able to vote, I have to go the next 4 years living with a president that everyone else voted for. And what bothers me is that people think 17-year-olds are too ‘immature’ and not ‘responsible’ enough to vote.” 

He continued by arguing that maturity doesn’t come with an age. 

“That logic is basically saying that once you’re 18 you are mature and responsible, but I know teenagers who are more responsible than some adults.”

Bunyatyan is not the only one that believes this. Junior Julie Saetern, agrees.

Julie Saetern, Junior at Highlands High (Julie Saetern/Foothill Forum)

“I think that if 17 (year-olds) were able to vote many 17 year (olds) wouldn’t take it seriously.”

“If we were given the chance to choose, more than likely people are just gonna pick Biden. They wouldn’t look into what he wants to do, what he wants to change, etc… because they don’t like Trump.” 

Though Proposition 18 would’ve opened the doors to a larger spectrum of opinionated voters, the knowledge of that group would be questionable according to students. 

“We’re, societally, not expected to be politically educated,” junior Nolla Moskvych said,  “I think that if 17-year-olds were able to vote, they’d be more motivated to get into politics. 

While the possibility of there being a large effect on this year’s election if 17-years-olds were given the right to vote, the decision held an impact without all parties being considered, leaving everyone to face the results of it. 

“… It’s not really the effect on them (referring to 17-year-olds), it’s the effect on all of us because if 17-year-olds could vote then the election would have been different,” Bunyatyan said.

Students say that voting opens doors of change, allowing there to be redemption where it feels all is lost. Voting impresses upon lives, and gives most the right to choose who they want to lead and what laws should be put into place. 17-year-olds were disregarded and robbed of the opportunity to help make a change, and are stuck with a president they may or may not have chosen.

“It makes me more frustrated the fact that I am 17 and not being able to vote, it makes me feel helpless,” Moskvych said, “Those who don’t get the right to vote have every right to complain (about) who won the election.”