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Truly amazing: Law allowing 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-register to vote ends Friday

From the good people at Common Cause NC:

North Carolina kills pre-registration law as Colorado enacts its own.

As North Carolina repeals the law allowing 16 & 17 year olds to pre-register to vote, Colorado becomes the 9th state in the nation to adopt such a law.

Earlier this month, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the bill (H589) to end the pre-registration program, five days after Colorado’s new law went into effect.

“It’s a real mystery why the legislature and the Governor feel a program that enhanced high school civics education and allowed 16 & 17 year olds to pre-register to vote has to end,” said Bob Phillips, Common Cause North Carolina executive director.  

“The program was virtually cost free and helped young people understand the importance of voting. How can that possibly be a bad thing?”  

The pre-registration law was adopted in 2009 (H908) within a larger election bill that received over-whelming bi-partisan support, including yes votes from House Representative now Speaker Thom Tillis, and State Senator now Senate President Pro-tem, Phil Berger. As a result:

  • 160,000 teenagers were able to vote in 2012 because they pre-registered as 16 and 17 year olds,
  • about 30% were Republicans, 30% Democrats and 40% were unaffiliated,
  • most pre-registration come in when the teenagers go to the DMV to get their driver’s license; another group comes in through high school registration drives and civics class exercises.*

The pre-registration program is officially repealed as of September 1, 2013. Of all age groups in North Carolina, 18 to 24 year olds have the lowest voter-registration rate.  

*source Democracy North Carolina & NC State Board of Elections