Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preregistration bill for 16 year olds signed in Delaware

On September 8th, Delaware became the 6th state to allow 16 year olds to pre-register to vote when they apply for their driver's license at the state DMV, joining Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and also the District of Columbia. (Additionally, California and Oregon have adopted a 17-year-old pre-registration age.)

A recent article cited the DE Division of Motor Vehicle statistics that more than 26,800 16- and 17-year-olds applied for their driver’s license from 2007 to 2009. During the same three-year period, the state Department of Elections reported that about 14,000 18-year-olds registered to vote.

Pre-registration laws are an important step that more and more states are taking in order to combat the high disparity between youth and adult voter registration rates, helping to make voting a "habit" as early as possible for our nation's young people. For more on youth pre-registration, check out this fact sheet from FairVote.

(Photo source)

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