Amendment V in the 2018 Colorado election: What to know about young people today (who want to run for office)

This is the one about changing the minimum age to serve in the state legislature.

Scenes from the seat of government on the last day of the state legislative session.

Scenes from the seat of government on the last day of the state legislative session.

staff photos

Amendment V would change the minimum age to serve in the state legislature to 21. It’s 25 now.

Here’s the language you’ll see on your ballot:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a reduction in the age qualification for a member of the general assembly from twenty-five years to twenty-one years?

What does that mean?

This one’s clear enough. If you vote yes, you’re saying that anyone 21 and older can get elected to the Colorado General Assembly. If you vote no, you believe only people 25 and older should qualify to become lawmakers.

The amendment passes only if 55 percent of voters check yes.

Who’s for it and who’s against it?

State lawmakers approved the constitutional amendment in 2017. Amendment V is a bipartisan measure sponsored by Republican state Sen. Vicki Marble, Democrat state Sen. Michael Merrifield, Republican state Rep. Kevin Van Winkle and Democrat state Rep. Jovan Melton.

If you’re old enough to get drafted into the military and drink alcohol, you should be old enough to get elected by your fellow citizens and make laws, supporters say. The argument against Amendment V comes from people who believe lawmakers need more experience to represent their constituents well. The only organized opposition comes from Douglas Bruce, the father of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which requires a vote of the people for tax hikes. Twenty-six legislators, mostly Republicans, voted against sending the measure to voters back in 2017.

All but seven states let 18- to 21-year-olds run for state representative, according to the amendment text. About half require state senators to be at least 25.

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election 2018