Sometimes, one has to admit that the forces of the universe are possessed of a wicked sense of humor. Witness this story in today’s Washington Post and the new study on which it is based. According to both, preregistering teens to vote so that they become eligible upon turning 18 does in fact increase participation and turnout — exactly what advocates for the practice have been saying for years.
Here, however, is the LOL kicker from the Post story:
“You might think that anything that increases the turnout of young people would inevitably benefit Democrats, since young people lean toward the Democratic Party. But that is not what Holbein and Hillygus found. Although preregistration tended to add more Democrats than Republicans to the rolls — simply because more young people registered as Democrats — it actually reduced the Democratic advantage among those young people who actually voted.”
You got that, Senator Rucho? By repealing teen preregistration as they did in the Monster Voting Law of 2013, North Carolina Republicans quite likely hurt themselves.
As you will recall, when pressed for an explanation for the move to repeal teen preregistration, Rucho, the Senate architect of the proposal said that the old law had been “very confusing” to his high school-aged son. And while this explanation was widely dismissed at the time as a rather transparent bit of excuse making, the new study seems to confirm that maybe Rucho was being straight. After all, by all indications, failing to understand how voting and voting laws law really work is something that runs in the Rucho family.