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Cross-bay voters split on measures to lower voting age

Sixteen and 17-year-old students in Oakland schools will have a voice when it comes time to elect school board members, while San Francisco voters turned away an attempt to open city elections to residents younger than 18, according to unofficial election results late Tuesday night.

Measure QQ, which was passing by a wide margin, gives older teens a voice, provided the Oakland City Council adopts an ordinance allowing it.

Proposition G in San Francisco, however,, which would lower the voting age to 16 years old for San Francisco citywide elections, fell just short of the votes needed to passage as of unofficial results late Tuesday.

Proponents of Measure QQ were leading 67 percent to about 33 percent, unofficial results from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters showed late Tuesday night. A simple majority is required for the measure to pass.

Before Election Day, Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, which represents teachers and staff in the school district, said that school board decisions impact students’ education and their futures.

The association supported the measure, which was the brainchild of students. Before Tuesday’s election, all City Council members were in support of Measure QQ.

No opposing argument was submitted to the Registrar of Voters before Election Day.

According to the latest numbers, just over 50 percent of San Francisco voters downvoted Prop G. The measure needed a majority of votes to pass.

If confirmed to have been defeated, it would mark the second time San Francisco voters have voted against lowering the voting age for local elections.

Back in November 2016, Proposition F also sought to allow voters over the age of 16, so long as they were U.S. citizens and registered to vote, to participate in city elections. Fifty-two percent of voters, however, voted against that measure.

The measure was backed by the San Francisco Youth Commission, which has argued that because teens are impacted by issues like education, transportation, and housing, they deserve to have a say in the voting process.

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