City Council Okays Language of Ballot Measure to Lower Voting Age to 16

When Culver City voters go the polls this November, they will most likely have to decide whether or not to allow 16- and 17-year-old residents to vote in future local elections.

The Culver City Council this week reviewed the language of a proposed measure that would be placed on the November 2022 election ballot.

By a 3-2 vote, the Council approved the ballot question which asks voters if Culver City should amend its City Charter to lower the vote age to 16 for future municipal and school district elections.

The two dissenting votes were cast by Vice Mayor Albert Vera and Councilmember Goran Eriksson.

Vera called the proposed voting measure “a half-baked idea” and its language “very problematic.” He maintained the city needs to conduct more community outreach before placing the issue on the ballots.

Eriksson said the ballot question is vague and doesn’t mention any implications for the city. “It is not ready,” he said. “It is a place holder.”

Displeased by his colleague’s “place holder” comment, Councilmember Alex Fisch mentioned that the proposal to lower the vote age has been discussed and analyzed by various councils over the past four years.

“I don’t have any problem with this,” he said. “We are basically asking voters to decide this issue.”

As written, the measure states: “Shall the measure amending the City Charter of the City of Culver City to allow Culver City residents aged 16 and 17, who are otherwise eligible to vote under state and local law, to vote on City and School District candidates and ballot measures, provided that each legislative body has approved budgetary funds and determined logistical systems are in place, and that inclusion would not prevent consolidation of City or School District elections with county elections, be adopted?”

Councilmember Yasmine McMorrin, who endorsed the proposal, said the measure asks residents “if young voices should have a say on community decisions that may impact them.”

Earlier this year, the Council started the ballot measure process, passing a motion which directed staff to draft the voting measure and bring it to the panel for approval.

City officials said the Council may revisit the issue for further direction at its July session.


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