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Beware any Tacoma school board member who votes to close Foss High. Bill would let 14-year-old students vote

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Jan. 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm with 5 Comments »
January 31, 2011 2:03 pm

Jason Mercier over at Washington Policy Center found this one before I did…a bill to let students 14 and older vote in school board elections.

The prime (and only) sponsor is new Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle.

Here is the bill in its entirety…

Sen. Scott White

AN ACT Relating to the voting age for school board elections; and
2 amending RCW 28A.320.400.
3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
4 Sec. 1. RCW 28A.320.400 and 1969 ex.s. c 223 s 28A.58.520 are each
5 amended to read as follows:
6 Qualifications of electors above the age of eighteen at all school
7 elections shall be the same as at a general state or county election.
8 Except as otherwise provided by law, only those electors residing
9 within the district shall be entitled to vote((, and)). Students
10 having attained the age of fourteen as of the date of the election
11 shall be entitled to vote in school board elections for the district in
12 which they are enrolled and in good standing. An elector may vote only
13 at the polling place designated by the proper election official.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. I’m sure allowing 14 year old children to vote in school elections was a
    burning issue in Sen. White’s district.

  2. Proconsul8 says:

    Step away from the bong, Sen. White. Common law has long held that children below the age of 16 cannot be assumed capable of giving informed consent. In Seattle, I’m not sure how many 14 year olds can read, balance a checkbook, or even know all the words to the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. Yet you, Sen. White, want them to pick who can be on their school board. Are these kids citizens? Do they have any way to verify their residence? Sheesh. Who the heck elected YOU, Sen. White?

  3. PumainTacoma says:

    Of course a D from Seattle so they can get the teachers to brainwash these kids to vote for their pet projects. Get real people. Voting is not a joke. Using kids as props for voting is also wrong whether your a teacher, union rep or senator from Seattle!!!

  4. Proconsul8, it sounds like you are very much aware of the challenges facing our students, many of whom have been failed by the system that ostensibly serves them. Reform of some sort is essential, so that our students *will* be able to reach high school prepared for the challenges that await them in the future. I think it does makes sense to consider the input of those students who will be directly served by their school board officials. While it might not be appropriate to grant them formal voting rights, this does serve to open a conversation as to how those students might participate in the process.

    The residency verification issues that you mention should be addressed when a student enrolls in a school district.

  5. JesseSeidman says:

    Hi–

    I am one of the students that came up with this idea. Before coming to conclusions I would recommend that you read our reasoning on our facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lower-Voting-Age-for-School-Board-Elections-Across-Washington-State/265386205815?ref=ts#!/pages/Lower-Voting-Age-for-School-Board-Elections-Across-Washington-State/265386205815?v=info

    But here is a short summary:

    1. An 80 year old grandmother with alzheimer’s or some other disease can vote for who will manage my education?

    2. We (the students) are the ones directly effected by the actions taken by schools board member.

    3. Statistically people who start voting at a younger age are more likely to vote for the rest of their lives.

    4. The students who do vote will be the ones that care and are better educated on the subject they are voted for.

    5. Allowing students to vote promotes active citizenship.

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