San Jose, May 23, 2017: Moreland School District announced that Moreland Middle School 7th grade Student, Aarushi Wadhwa, testified with Assemblymember and former Campbell Mayor Evan Low in support of Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10, proposing to lower the voting age from 18 to 17 in the state of California. After her testimony this month in Sacramento, alongside another Northern California student, the Assembly Elections Committee passed Assemblymember Low’s proposal four to one.
Aarushi’s testimony talked about her various community roles that she shares with hundreds of other under-aged voters. She shared, “If my peers and I can debate on such important topics, and ordinances, then we can definitely make a mature decision when it comes to voting. Lowering the voting age to 17 will make voting a habit before teens go to college or enter the workforce."
Aarushi is an active leader at Moreland Middle School (MMS) and in her surrounding community. She is part of MMS’ Greenkeepers Club, the youngest member of the City of Campbell Youth Commission, and has a patent pending for inline video processing for live streaming of hologram projections, as completed in her First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition, where she and her teammates created an Augmented Reality Zoo. Aarushi’s team, Team ARZoo, received the Global Innovation Award as the Northern California champion and the “Hero to Animals” award from the animal rights organization PETA.
“This experience was really memorable,” said Aarushi. “I really appreciated the opportunity to see activism up close and speak on a topic I recently started learning more about. I’ve been part of the Theater Arts and Public Speaking programs at school, so those really prepared me for this research and presentation.”
Assemblymember Evan Low’s proposal hopes to catch youth at a time when they are still connected to their schools, their homes, and their communities. “We need bold ideas to reinvigorate participation in the democratic process,” said Assemblymember Low in his May 12, 2017 press release. “Lowering the voting age will help ensure the next generation is engaged and empowered to hold their representatives accountable.”
Now that this proposal, ACA 10, has passed the Assembly Elections Committee, it will head for Assembly Appropriations. As a constitutional amendment, the measure requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of the state legislature and the approval of voters in order to take effect.