State Legislatures Encourage Civic Participation

Posted on May 23, 2007
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


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