Some 17-year-olds may get to vote in primaries

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The House has advanced a proposed amendment to the Vermont Constitution that would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if their 18th birthday will occur before the general election.

Approval came on an 89-53 roll call vote for a measure that already cleared the state Senate, where constitutional amendments must originate. But it still has more stops before the change can be made.

Both the House and Senate must approve such a measure in two successive legislative sessions, meaning it will have to be approved again in 2009 or 2010. Then it would go to a statewide referendum.

The U.S. Constitution sets the minimum voting age at 18, but primaries are a function of the political parties and the states.

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