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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 04:55 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Young Voter Preregistration
I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 1261, legislation that would allow for preregistration for young voters.

In an effort to encourage increased civic engagement among young voters and make it easier for them to exercise their right to vote when they turn 18 years of age, my legislation would allow 16- and 17-year-old individuals to preregister to vote.

Specifically, the bill would allow teens who are otherwise qualified under Title 25, §1301 (Qualification to register) and who are at least 16 years of age to preregister to vote. The SURE system will then automatically register the individuals when they turn 18 or on a date in advance of the next election when they will be 18 years of age. This will ensure young registrants who are interested in voting in any election after they reach legal age are able to engage in their right to vote.

The State of California implemented a youth voter preregistration program in the fall of 2016. Since that time, roughly 100,000 teenagers have preregistered to vote. And a recent study in voter registration shows Pennsylvania leads the nation among 18-29-year-old registrants, making up 61% of new voters in the state. With national events sparking increased civic engagement by young voters, I believe we should join the 22 states that allow for preregistration ahead of the legal voting age of 18.

Please cosponsor this initiative that will allow new, young voters, an opportunity to ensure registration deadlines are not missed ahead of their legal age to vote.

Introduced as SB214