States Consider Youth Voting Rights Bills

FairVote proposals expanding voting rights for young people are on the move. Two cornerstone policies of the 100% Registration Project, setting a uniform voter registration age and allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election to vote in primaries, have been met with great enthusiasm by state legislators hoping to increase youth participation. Setting a uniform voter registration age of 16 will increase opportunities for young people to register to vote when applying for their driver's license and help schools conduct more successful voter registration drives. This year, California, Rhode Island and Maryland have introduced legislation that would standardize the registration age.

FairVote is also supporting legislative efforts in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania,and New Jersey to allow eligible 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections. Currently, 18 states or state parties allow 17-year-old primary voting, but since FairVote's success in helping restore voting rights to 17-year-olds in Maryland, a number of other states have explored expanding suffrage rights to these young people. The Connecticut legislature has passed the constitutional amendment and it will appear on the ballot in November.

[ Read about FairVote's 100% Registration Project ]
[ Read the uniform registration bills: California, Rhode Island, Maryland ]
[ Read the 17-year-old primary voting bills: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey ]
[ Read more about Maryland youth voting rights ]
[ Read FairVote op-eds in the Maryland Gazette and the Concord Monitor ]
[ Read Executive Director Rob Richie's vision of 100% Registration ]