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California teens have been fighting to lower the voting for years.

Strong arguments aside, movement to allow teens to vote appears to stall

When the mayor of Takoma Park, Md., hired a 17-year-old campaign manager and ran ads in the local high school newspaper in 2015, the highly unusual campaign moves seemed to make solid political sense. After all, nearly half of the Washington suburb's teenagers had turned out in 2013, when it became the nation's first municipality to award the franchise to people younger than 18 — and overall turnout hovered at a dismal 10 percent.

But the success of this experiment in civic engagement has not heralded a transformation in the nation's voter qualification rules. Only half a dozen other places have followed Takoma Park's lead. Proposals in several other liberal bastions have come up short — and last week the House resoundingly rejected, for the second time in three years, allowing 16-year-olds to vote in federal elections.

Many educators and progressive politicians remain undeterred. In a time of embarrassingly bad civic literacy and with turnout in most recent elections well below most developed countries, they say lowering the voting age would be a great way to breed lifelong voting habits in high schoolers while making their civic education immediately relevant outside of the classroom.

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Survey shows inmates aren't all Democratic voters in waiting

A poll of more than 8,000 inmates suggests that allowing those currently or formerly incarcerated to vote will not necessarily benefit the Democrats, as many operatives in both parties believe.

Slate and the nonprofit Marshall Project, a news site covering criminal justice, unveiled the survey Wednesday, and it is sure to be cited by civil rights groups pressing to expand the voting rights of convicted felons — whose main challenges have included persuading Republicans their aim is boosting civic engagement, not gaining a partisan edge.

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