State Legislatures Encourage Civic Participation

VotedA number of state legislatures have introduced bills that aim to increase youth voter participation. Proposals have included lowering the voting age, allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections and advance registration for 16-year-olds. Minnesota introduced a constitutional amendment lowering the voting age from 18 to 16. In Connecticut, the legislature is considering two bills (HJ 7, HJ 11) that would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 before the general election. Three states--California, Maryland and Pennsylvania--want to promote youth voter participation through advance registration and by establishing "high school voter weeks" twice a year. Strengthening civic education in high schools was considered (but did not make it through committee) in Florida and Indiana, but a FairVote-backed civic education bill in Maryland was signed into law.

Read more about FairVote's 100% Youth Voter Registration Project
Read about FairVote's high school voting curriculum, Learning Democracy