House committee passes 17-year-old primary voting bill

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – The House Government Operations Committee voted 7 to 3 Tuesday in favor of a bill that would allow 17-year-olds to vote.

House Bill 281, Voter Eligibility Amendments presented by Representative Joel Briscoe, would allow a person who is 17 years old to be able to register for and vote in a primary election if he or she will be 18 on or before the date of the general election.

The bill seeks to address a steady decline in voter participation in Utah and “apathy for civic and political engagement by young people,” according to a statement released by House Democrats. 

“There are young people in our state who desperately want to be involved in our democracy. This bill signals to Utah teens we want them to participate now and for a long time to come. It simply allows young people to help choose their party's primary candidates for a general election. It’s a bill that supports an important habit – voting," said Rep. Briscoe. 

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration. You can track the bill's progress here

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