Albany, NY – Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester)’s voter pre-registration law has taken effect today in New York State.
The new law allows 16-and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote and requires local boards of education to adopt policies to promote student voter registration and pre-registration. Now when young adults turn 18, they will not have to make a trip to the Board of Elections (BOE) or a state agency to register, but will be automatically registered by their local BOE.
“The new voter pre-registration law will engage young voters and increase voter turnout not just short term but long term. When young people are engaged from any early age they stay engaged. By eliminating barriers to register and increasing education, we are strengthening our democracy. Right now, young people are demanding political change, and New York will empower all voters early to make their voices heard,” said Senator David Carlucci.
According to United States census data, less than 20 percent of young people voted in 2014’s midterm elections, as compared to about 40 percent of the general population. In Florida, a similar law helped improve youth voting participation 4.7 percentage points.
New York now joins 13 other states and the District of Columbia who allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.