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04/25/2024 04:37 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20130&cosponId=13562
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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: October 22, 2013 02:05 PM
From: Representative Mark B. Cohen
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Permitting the Pre-Registration of Young Voters
 
I will soon introduce legislation that would allow 16 year-old individuals to register to vote so that they will be eligible to cast a ballot when they reach 18, the voting age in all states. The central goal of pre-registration is to encourage voting among young people, a group that consistently has the lowest turnout rates. In the past decade or so, pre-registration has steadily emerged as an election reform across the U.S.

A total of 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted pre-registration: Alaska, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming all permit pre-registration at various ages approaching 18 years of age.

For example, Maryland, North Carolina and Florida allow 16 year-olds to pre-register while
Alaska allows a person who will be 18 in 90 days to pre-register and Texas allows pre-registration when a young person to register 60 days before the 18th birthday.

According to a 2010 case study of the effect on voter turnout in Hawaii and Florida, pre-registration encouraged youth turnout. Pre-registration for first-time youth voters would occur at already-established points of contact, such as in civics classes or at Pennsylvania Department of Transportation motor vehicle bureaus.

This legislation has the potential to increase youth engagement not only federal elections, but in state and local elections, as well.

If you have any further questions, please contact Helen Norton at 772-3071 or at hnorton@pahouse.net.



Introduced as HB1869