DETROIT, MI (Nov. 30, 2023) — Michigan took an important step today to increase youth voter turnout and engagement by signing into law HB 4569, which will permit otherwise-eligible citizens who are not yet of voting age to preregister to vote. The bill was signed as part of a larger set of reforms aimed at reducing barriers to voting in the state.
“Preregistration has been shown to consistently improve voter registration rates and increase the likelihood that young citizens—who are the future of our democracy—will vote and stay engaged in elections upon reaching voting age,” Michelle Kanter Cohen, policy director and senior counsel at Fair Elections Center, said. “It will prepare our young people for a future with fewer barriers to voting, expand opportunities for teens to organize in their communities, and assist students in developing voting habits that will last a lifetime.”
Previously, only citizens who were 17½ years old and would be 18 by Election Day could register. This new law will allow otherwise-eligible young citizens between 16 and 17½ years old to complete a voter registration application and be seamlessly and immediately added to the voter rolls upon reaching the age of eligibility.
“Not only does this make registration an easier experience, but it will also facilitate critical opportunities to provide voter registration services to young people in a centralized and coordinated way and increase administrative efficiency,” said Landon Myers, Michigan State Coordinator for the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project, who attended the signing ceremony. “Young voters in Michigan had the highest turnout in their age group of any state in the 2022 midterm election, showing a passionate effort to make their voices heard. Preregistration will provide additional opportunities to bring young people in Michigan into our democracy and inspire a lifetime of civic participation. We applaud this important measure and what it will do to empower young adults to make their voices heard.”
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Fair Elections Center is a leading national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization based in Washington, DC, using litigation, public education, and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, and improve election administration.
Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project, established in 2012, works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and help campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.