With a vote on the final day of the Maryland legislative session
and an expected governor's signature, Maryland will become the fifth
state with 16-year-old
youth voter pre-registration. The bill, HB 217,
is expected to create thousands of new voters and encourage
participation among young people.
The Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to override a gubernatorial veto of important electoral reform legislation that will allow voter pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds. Rhode Island now becomes the fifth state, and the fourth in three years, to allow minors to pre-register, a process where their voter registration automatically becomes active upon turning 18.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation, AB 30, allowing the pre-registration of 17-year-olds in the state of California. The state joins seven others that allow pre-registration at either 17 or 16. This follows close on the heels of North Carolina, which made their pre-registration age 16
over the summer. As with campaigns in other states, students
themselves were the most persuasive advocates for pre-registration.