On Tuesday, this California city decides if 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote

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Ada Meighan-Thiel, a 17-year-old senior at Culver City High School, acted out an age-old teenage ritual as she stood on Marcelo Chamecki’s front porch the week before election day. She was there to try to get an adult to take her and her young friends seriously.

Her arguments were well-rehearsed on this sunny afternoon as she expounded on the virtues of Measure VY, a ballot initiative that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in city and school board elections in her Westside hometown.

The local measure goes before voters in Tuesday’s election. If it passes, it would make Culver City one of few U.S. communities to allow people as young as 16 to vote. No other municipality in the country has the issue on its ballot this year.

“Measure VY would expand the local voting age here in Culver City to 16,” Meighan-Thiel said, a clipboard of informational fliers in hand. “By really involving people in democracy from a young age, a value of participation will be instilled in them so going forward they’ll be much more habitual, well-informed voters.”

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