San Francisco votes counted thus far are rejecting a repeat effort to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections.
Returns released Wednesday afternoon showProposition G losing, with 49.37 percent approval separated by nearly 6,000 votes in a gap that has widened since Election Night. The Department has roughly 90,000 votes left to process.
The measure would allow teens to vote on local matters, making San Francisco the first major city nationwide to give young people that right.
Supervisor Norman Yee put the charter amendment on the ballot after voters narrowly rejected the first attempt in 2016. But teen activism has surged in the past four years, and particularly in 2020 as Black Lives Matter protests erupted. Young people took a stand on gun violence, police brutality and climate change in national movements that often called out adults in power for failing them.
Proponents argue Prop. G would instill civic engagement at an early age, and give young people, who historically vote in low numbers, the opportunity to have a say in issues that directly affect them.
“The 2016 election and its fallout really served as a catalyst for this new wave of youth activism that we just haven’t seen before,” said Arianna Nassiri, who sits on the Youth Commission and directs the local chapter of Vote16 to increase youth voting abilities, in May. “They serve as evidence that young people are aware, politically active, and engaging in the political process. We’re seeing young people drive, pay taxes, enrolled in San Francisco Unified School District in large numbers, and yet completely disenfranchised from taking part in this system.”
This article has been updated with the latest election results.