On June 6, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) introduced S. 3100, a bill that would encourage advance voter registration for sixteen year olds, and automatic re-registration of voters who changed their residence. S. 3100 would create a grant program to provide the States with the funds needed to implement pre-registration for sixteen year olds, ensuring that they would be on the voter rolls when they turn eighteen.
This comes on the tail of Florida Governor Charlie Crist June 5th decision to sign SB 866 into law, setting a uniform voter registration age of 16-years-old for the state of Florida. Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“Motor Voter”), citizens can register to vote when they apply for a driver’s license. The new Florida law now allows all eligible drivers to also be eligible to register to vote, and have their registration automatically become active upon reaching voting age.
(Both houses of Rhode Island’s legislature also passed a uniform registration age law this year, which was vetoed by Governor Carcieri on on June 23rd. Similar legislation has also been introduced in California, Michigan and Maryland.)