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‘Democracy's Future' is our roadmap for expanding voting franchise for the next generation of voters


Media Contact


WASHINGTON -- Today, the nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization Fair Elections Center released its Democracy’s Future: Proposals to Expand Access to Registration and Voting for a New Generation report, which provides a blueprint for lawmakers to build a stronger democracy by making it easier for younger voters to participate in the electoral process.

The report identifies key barriers to youth registration and voting and opportunities to expand access. It provides best practices, useful background information, and concrete solutions including model legislation and policies to expand access to a new generation of voters. It is based on Fair Elections Center’s years of successful work with hundreds of college and university campuses across the country via its Campus Vote Project, to engage millions of students in becoming regular, active participants in the most fundamental enterprise of American Democracy.

Key policy areas include:

  • Pre-registration of 16- and 17-year olds

  • On-campus voter registration and voter information opportunities

  • Residency rules affecting students

  • Same day voter registration

  • Student ID as voter ID

  • On-campus polling places

  • Pre-Election Day voting opportunities

  • Students as poll workers

“Young people and students are the newest members of our democracy, and we should be designing policies and processes that fully welcome them into our system of self-government,” said Mike Burns, Campus Vote Project national director. “It’s clear that this new generation of voters is highly motivated to participate in our democracy, but it’s up to policymakers to meet them where they are at and remove unnecessary obstacles to voting.”

"While youth turnout surged in the most recent presidential election, these voters still face substantial barriers to voting,” said Michelle Kanter Cohen, Fair Elections Center policy director and senior counsel. “With the common sense policies we’ve identified, we can make voting less complicated and more accessible for young voters. Pre-registering 16- and 17-year-olds, expanding on-campus voting locations and offering voter registration up to and including on Election Day are all ways policymakers can protect and expand access to the ballot box for the next generation."

The Democracy’s Future report is available HERE.

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