Youth voting measure fails

San Francisco voters appear to have shot down the right to vote in local elections for 16- and 17-year-old residents.

Proposition F, which required more than 50 percent of the votes to pass, would have made San Francisco the first major city in the U.S. to expand the right to vote in all local elections to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Supporters of the measure had said it would help youths create informed voting habits for the future.

Opponents of Prop. F had questioned whether those as young as 16 are ready to vote, as well as raised concerns over the measure being a power grab for progressive politicians scrounging for favorable votes from San Francisco’s youths.

Prop F. sponsor Supervisor John Avalos responded to the criticism by pointing to the small number of voters the proposition will generate.

If teenagers register to vote at the same rate as the general population — about 57 percent of registered voters cast their ballots in June, according to the Department of Elections — voter registration would increase by just 1 percent in San Francisco, City Controller Ben Rosenfield found.

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