Lawmaker pushes for 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KARK) - A Northwest Arkansas lawmaker is supporting a plan to give 17-year-olds the right to vote during primary elections, saying it will give people an added voice in deciding who represents them from Congress to the city hall.

According to Little Rock NBC affiliate KARK, Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville said he is in favor of the idea.

"If she gets to vote in November, why not give her a say in May," Leding, who is seeking a state Senate seat this November against Republican Dawn Clemence, said.

Under Arkansas law, teens who are 17 years old can pre-register to vote if they turn 18 in time for the November general election. Leding said he believes it would help build voter turnout in a group that typically does not care about politics.

"There are a lot of issues that affect that age group more so than me or my wife, for example," Leding told KARK. "You've got student debt, higher education funding, sexual assault on college campuses."

Any decision on the proposal would have to be made during the 2019 legislative session in Little Rock.

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