NEW CITY, NY – Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) today announced legislation (S.1992) designed to streamline the voter registration process by allowing 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-register to vote at a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles location. In doing so, younger adults will have more access to different sites to pre-register and are automatically enrolled and registered to vote once they reach the legal age of 18. The effort is geared towards increasing voter participation, especially among younger voters that have a much lower turnout percentage than older age brackets.
Returning to his alma mater Clarkstown North High School in New City, Senator Carlucci was joined by students, teachers, and school administrators who stood behind the proposal.
“New York can do much more when it comes to encouraging our youth to find their way to the ballot box on Election Day,” said Senator Carlucci. “By making it easier for students to pre-register to vote, we will not only register more voters but engage a new generation of voters in our civic process. Every vote counts, but only by casting your ballot will all of our voices be heard by those we elect to represent us.”
In the presidential race of 2012, only 46% of those between the ages of 18-24 were registered to vote, amounting to a lackluster 915,620 individuals out of a total statewide population of 1,985,617. At the same time, less than 50% of those registered actually cast their ballot, or 437,061.
The legislation will ensure that voter registration increases among this key demographic that historically has been less inclined to participate in the political and electoral process.
Mark Favors, Executive Director, Youth Civic Leadership Academy, said: “Preregistration has been shown in other states to already have proven to be effective in increasing huge voter turnouts, particularly among African-Americans.”
Dr J. Thomas Morton, Superintendent of Clarkstown Central School District, said: “This is one more example of how Senator Carlucci supports the youngsters in our district. This is a great step forward to encourage civic responsibility among our students. I am pleased to support the Senator in this endeavor.”
Jordan Turner, Social Studies Department Chair at Clarkstown North High School, said: “In a time of such great challenges to our education system, it is ever important that the young people who have been so recently involved in our education system be empowered to have a voice in politics.”