Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists during his presidential campaign angered Heidi Sainz, whose family is from Mexico and who has close friends who are immigrants. She was also upset that she couldn't do anything about it at the ballot box because she was a year shy of being able to vote.
Sainz favors a bill in the California Legislature that would lower the voting age to 17, which she thinks would give a voice to more people affected by the outcome of elections.
"Looking at all the protests throughout this year throughout all the high schools across the nation, we could see a lot of the minors were protesting because they felt as if they didn't have a voice," said Sainz, a senior at Inderkum High School in Sacramento.
Lawmakers in more than a dozen states are trying to increase voter participation by targeting young people. Their bills are among nearly 500 pieces of legislation introduced around the country this year to make voting easier, according to a March analysis by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice.
While Republican-leaning states have moved to tighten voting rules — nearly 90 such bills have been introduced — those efforts have been outstripped by the number of bills seeking to expand access to the polls.