Posted on March 19, 2009Rhode Island's state senate today overwhelmingly passed advance voter registration. The bill would allow young adults to register to vote upon turning 16, with their registration becoming active when they reach voting age. This lower, uniform age for "pre-voter registration" creates new opportunities to introduce young people to voting and registration in high schools and government agencies like the DMV.
The vote was bipartisan, with fully 32-2 voting yes. The house vote last week was lopsided as well. Stay tuned for more details from FairVote Rhode Island, which has done a terrific job in making the case for this bill.
FairVote sees our nation moving to a national norm, with an understanding that "you vote at 18, but can register at 16". Currently barely half of young adults who are eligible to vote are registered.