Posted by Adam Fogel on June 12, 2007Exciting news for voter registration reform! Florida"s Governor Charlie Crist recently signed a measure to rework voter registration policy, dropping the voter registration age from 17 to 16 years old (when applying for a driver"s license). New drivers can now automatically opt in to receive a voter registration card on their 18th birthday. It"s another step in the right direction for increasing voter turnout, and towards FairVote"s envisioned universal registration.
Late registration plagues the young end of the voter spectrum across the nation, resulting in a relatively low voting percentage. With this reform, young voters are given a running start in to the voting practice, a year earlier than before, which should result in a boost for young voter turnout.
Florida now joins Hawaii with allowing 16-year-olds to register. Rhode Island"s legislature passed a similar bill in 2006, although it was vetoed by the governor. Similar proposals have been offered in Maryland, Minnesota and Michigan this legislative session.