State Rep. El-Mahdi Holly, D-McDonough, is supporting a referendum to lower to voting age in the state of Georgia from 18 to 17 years old.
At a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol recently, Holly said he supports House Resolution 345 because he believes 17-year-olds are treated as legal adults already in the state.
“In Georgia, you can get married, work a full time job, pay taxes and are seen as a legal adult in the judicial system at the age of 17. Those people should have representation and their rights to be heard at the polls,” said Holly.
HR 345 proposes an amendment to the constitution that would lower the registration and voting age to 17 years old for federal, state and local elections. Currently, Georgia law requires citizens to be at least 17 and a half years old to register to vote and 18 years old to vote in all state and federal elections.
If HR 345 is adopted, the constitutional amendment will be placed on the state-wide ballot as a referendum during Georgia’s general election in 2020.
On Holly’s Facebook page, some raised their concerns about the proposed referendum. “There is no logical reason to lower the voting age. The only reason this is being proposed is an attempt to add to a certain political party that thrives on uninformed voters,” said Lisa White. “Kids are getting less mature not more mature. Years ago an 18-year-old was helping to support the family, had real life experiences, and was much more responsible. Today, not so much.”
Holly has stated that the decision should be left up voters in Georgia.
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