Two scholars from Duke University researched the impact of voter pre-registration--that is, registering voters at age 16 or 17 before they are eligible to cast a vote--on turnout among young voters. The study's findings were encouraging. The scholars found that pre-registration increases the probability that young voters (defined as ages 18-22) will participate in elections between 2 and 13 percentage points, depending on the model of analysis used. The impact on participation was almost identical between young Democrats and young Republicans.
FairVote was the first national organization to support the reform as part of an early call for seeking 100% registration of newly eligible voters, played a central role in early state victories, and maintains a set of helpful resources for those who want to learn more and work to adopt voter pre-registration in states across the country. A federal bill has been introduced by Congressman Don Beyer.