Don't Break My Heart

Maryland legislators received a different kind of valentine this February 14th. Students at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, with the encouragement of FairVote, sent valentines to State Delegates and Senators asking for their support of H.B. 310 and S.B. 92--two identical bills that would set a uniform voter registration age of 16-years-old.

Right to Vote Director Adam Fogel testified in favor of the bill, along with a number of high school students. If the bills pass and are signed by the governor, Maryland would be the second state in as many years to allow 16-year-olds to register to vote. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a similar bill last year. Hawaii is the only other state that allows all 16-year-olds to register to vote.

Secretaries of State from across the country have embraced setting 16 as the uniform voter registration age, including Republican Terri Lynn Land from Michigan and Democrat Mark Ritchie from Minnesota. The Rhode Island General Assembly has also introduced a bill supporting this policy.

Allowing 16-year-olds to register would enable high schools to conduct more effective voter registration drives and encourage young people to register when receiving their driver's license or permit. FairVote assembled a coalition of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations in support of this legislation and sent a letter to Maryland legislators urging their support. The coalition members include: Casa de Maryland, Common Cause Maryland, League of Women Voters of Maryland and Progressive Maryland.

[ Track S.B. 92 ]
[ Track H.B. 310 ]
[ FairVote's Testimony ]
[ Learn more about FairVote's 100% Registration Project ]
[ Learn more about Universal Voter Registration ]