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The Golden State Allows Voter Pre-Registration

by Adam Fogel // Published October 12, 2009

Amid some disappointing vetoes, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a voter registration bill that allows 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Last year, a similar bill that would have extended pre-registration opportunities for 16-year-olds died in the Senate Appropriations Committee. With his signature, California becomes the 8th state to allow 16 or 17-year-old voter pre-registration. Earlier this year, North Carolina became the third state (after Hawaii and Florida) to set a uniform pre-registration age of 16-years-old.

2009 has been a banner year for the FairVote-backed reform, with more than a half a dozen states plus the District of Columbia introducing youth pre-registration legislation. The Washington, D.C. City Council unanimously passed a first reading of a bill containing language that includes 16-year-old voter pre-registration, with Massachusetts and Rhode Island also in play before the end of the year.

You can read more about all of these developments on the Right to Vote section of our website. See a complete list of states' registration ages here.