Ramos Bill Would Expand Primary Voting Age to 17 for Eligible New Yorkers

June 28, 2010

Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced the Assembly passed legislation he sponsored that would allow any New York citizen who will be 18 years or older at the time of a presidential election to vote in the primary election if he or she is 17 years old at the time of the primary (A.5110).

“Expanding the right to vote to this group of New Yorkers makes sense because it encourages more people – specifically, young people – to get involved in the democratic process,” Ramos said. “I sponsored this common-sense bill because I think it’s only right that if someone turns 18 between a primary and an election, they should be allowed to participate in deciding who will be on the presidential ticket.”

The bill is also important in that it addresses the inequity in state law that allows a 17-year-old to enlist in the armed forces and fight in a war but does not extend to them the ability to vote, Ramos said.

Assemblyman Ramos sponsored this legislation after speaking with several youths and youth groups.

“I’m excited to see this legislation advanced because there are so many people in this age bracket who take the democratic process seriously and are eager to make their voices heard through their vote,” said Amaury Muñoz, a former student who participated in Somos El Futuro, a not-for-profit organization that works to create opportunities that increase the participation of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic community in the public policy-making process

“In recent years, more and more young people are becoming informed and are eager to participate in the election process,” Ramos said. “If members of this group of young Americans are willing to vote, they should be able.”