NM House Approves Plan To Allow 17-Year Old Primary Voters

Feb 26, 2013

Some 17-year-old New Mexicans could vote in primary elections under a proposal approved by the House.

The measure will allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election — or a political party's caucus or other contest for selecting a presidential nominee — if they will be 18 by the time of the November general election.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces said 19 other states have similar provisions. The state's June primary election decides party nominees for elective offices.

The bill passed the House on a 44-24 vote on Monday, and goes to the Senate.

Opponents contend the state constitution needs to be changed to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries. Supporters disagreed and said the proposed change will encourage young people to participate in the political process.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.