Breaking News: Ohio Judge Issues Order To Allow 17-Year-Olds Be Allowed To Vote In Primary, How Will This Impact Primary?

Judge Rules Ohio 17-Year-Olds Be Allowed To Vote In Primary, How Will This Impact Primary? [Breaking]

According to the Associated Press, 17-year-olds will now be allowed to vote in the Ohio presidential primary.

Currently, Ohio law allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the fall election to vote in Ohio primaries as long as certain exceptions are put in place. The 17-year-olds are allowed to vote on congressional, legislative, and mayoral contenders but they are not allowed to vote on tax levies, ballot issues, or a political party’s central committee candidates.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted states that 17-year-olds can vote “solely on the nomination of candidates” — and not in the presidential primary “because delegates are elected and not nominated.” A lawsuit was brought against Husted by nine 17-year-olds who believe that Husted’s interpretation of the law is not appropriate. The 17-year-olds claim that their voting rights were violated and that the Ohio Constitution and previous court cases are in their favor.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been an outspoken proponent for Ohio to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the presidential primary. Sanders filed a lawsuit in Ohio on March 8, similar to the lawsuit filed by the nine 17-year-olds. Bernie’s communications director Michael Briggs commented on the lawsuit.

“They’re trying to make it seem like that’s the way it’s always been, but it’s not. “It’s a fast-moving situation.”

Briggs has also stated that this Ohio ruling is “a victory for democracy.”

It is no surprise that Sanders is fighting to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary next week. Young voters are one of the best demographics for the presidential candidate.

The idea that something was wrong with the system began in December. It was at that time that Secretary of State Husted distributed the election manuals for 2016. The writing inside those manuals explicitly said that 17-year-olds would not be allowed to vote in the Ohio presidential primary on March 15. This was a new concept since 17-year-olds who would be 18-years-old on election day have been able to vote in primaries since 1981.

Secretary of State Husted says that he opposes the ruling but will not be appealing the decision. When the ruling first came out, Husted said he was going to appeal on the grounds that one county judge should not have the power to change 30 years of election law. The appeal would have gone to a higher court. As of March 12, Husted pulled back his rhetoric on appealing the decision. Husted now sites a lack of time as to why he will not be appealing. With the judge’s ruling being made so close to the primary, Husted really has no choice in regard to not appealing the court’s decision.

News of the Ohio judge’s ruling broke recently. Twitter reactions to the ruling have been very positive.

Do you think allowing 17-year-olds to vote in the Ohio primary was the right decision?

[AP Photo/Mark Duncan]