CJ Pearson, the Executive Director of Young Georgians in Government, reached out to let us know that they have secured a sponsor and three co-sponsors for a bill that would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to lower the minimum age to serve in the Georgia Senate and Georgia House.
The group is seeking to reduce the age to serve in the Georgia House from 21 to 18 and in the Georgia Senate from 25 to 21. Article III, Section II, Paragraph III of the Georgia Constitution currently states:
Qualifications of members of General Assembly.
(a) At the time of their election, the members of the Senate shall be citizens of the United States, shall be at least 25 years of age, shall have been citizens of this state for at least two years, and shall have been legal residents of the territory embraced within the district from which elected for at least one year.
(b) At the time of their election, the members of the House of Representatives shall be citizens of the United States, shall be at least 21 years of age, shall have been citizens of this state for at least two years, and shall have been legal residents of the territory embraced within the district from which elected for at least one year.
The group plans to organize a ground game to knock on doors and reach out to voters if a bill passes during the session.
All of this comes on the heels of 18-year-old Saira Blair’s election to the House of Delegates in West Virginia. She defeated the 66-year-old GOP incumbent in the primary in May and defeated her 44-year-old Democratic opponent on November 4.
I am of the mindset that the change would be good. There is always the argument of “lack of experience,” but I have been around politics long enough to witness how hard some in this age group have worked on campaigns and in their community. If they are willing to put in that kind of effort into a campaign and serving others, then I say let them have the opportunity. They have to live, work, and be educated under Georgia laws, so they may as well have a chance to legislate.
UPDATED: WGAU interview with Conrad Close of Young Georgians in Government about the possible legislation.