“A state law could help prevent disenfranchising young voters. Why is NY ignoring it?”


A small fraction of New Yorkers who are 16 and 17 years old have completed the process to preregister and automatically be added to voting rolls when they turn 18, according to a new report.

The report by the Civics Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit that aims to register every eligible U.S. high school student to vote, says only 16.5% of the eligible teens preregistered so far, and also found that New York City performed at even lower levels than most of the state. The group used census data and state voter registration to determine the eligible population and voter preregistration rates for each county.

In 2019, state lawmakers enacted a law allowing young people to be preregistered to vote as part of an effort to increase the state’s low rates of voter participation.

“When young people, especially 18 and 19-year-olds, aren’t registered in high school in an educational setting, it can take years for them to even get on the voter rolls,” said Laura Brill, the Civic Center’s founder and CEO.

Brill said the report highlights the lack of planning, organization and general awareness of New York’s preregistration law, as well as the need for schools, parents and students to play a role in implementing it effectively.

Share this: