60,000+ teens added to NC voter rolls thanks to unique law

More than 60,000 North Carolina teenagers will be eligible to vote in the November election as a result of a unique state law that let them preregister when they were as young as 16 years old.

An analysis by Democracy North Carolina of teenage preregistrants indicates that:

  • 30 percent are affiliating with the Democratic Party
  • 30 percent are signing up with the Republican Party
  • One percent is aligning with the Libertarian Party and
  • 39 percent are choosing none of the parties

Certainly the presidential race helps build interest in the voting process, but thousands of additional teenagers are signing up this month because the same North Carolina law requires county boards of elections conduct voter registration and preregistration drives in high schools during Citizens Awareness Month.

“These young voters run the gamut, from those signing up at the DMV almost automatically
when they get their first driver’s license, to those who fill out the form in high school after
studying the election process in their civics class,” said Bob Hall of Democracy North
Carolina. “They are more independent and more inclined to evaluate candidates without relying on party labels.”

Five other states allow citizens to preregister as young as 16, but North Carolina’s law is actually the only
one that requires election officials to hold drives in its high schools each year, according to Hall.

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