Colorado age requirement for public office to remain at 25 |

Colorado age requirement for public office to remain at 25

McKenna Harford/Sky-Hi News

Colorado voters on Tuesday, Nov. 6, decided not to lower the age limit to serve as a representative or senator.

Amendment V would have lowered the minimum age from 25 to 21 years old.

In statewide results, 1,231,448 Coloradans, or 65 precent, voted against the measure, compared to 660,326, or 35 percent, in favor.

Moffat County voters agreed with the rest of the state, with 4,095 ballots cast against the amendment and 1,136 in favor, a margin of 78 percent to 22 percent.

Opponents of lowering the age felt that the current requirement strikes a balance between youth and experience. They argued that younger candidates might lack the expertise and maturity to function as effective legislators.

However, proponents of Amendment V argued that a 21-year-old is legally an adult, and excluding 21- to 24-year-olds serves no purpose, since voters can determine for themselves whether a candidate is mature, able, and competent enough to serve.

Proponents also argued that lowering the age would encourage civic engagement among younger residents of the state.

Colorado’s current age requirement, along with Arizona and Utah, is the highest minimum age to serve in the legislature in the country. Three states have no minimum age requirement, and 10 states have a minimum age requirement of 18 years, according to Ballotpedia.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average age of Colorado legislators in 2015 was 55.

In 2008, a similar measure to lower the required age to 21, Referendum L, was on the ballot and failed, with 53.5 percent of voters against the measure.