The House Election Law and Campaign Finance Committee is set to hear H1260 at 1pm this afternoon. This bill would create a voter "pre-registration" and education program for 16 year olds that would automatically convert their pre-registration to a full voter registration on that person's 18th birthday.
If enacted this will create tremendous problems in verifying locations of voters and create a massive burden on county board's of elections to attempt to verify a voter's location two years after registration.
How many 18 year olds will forget that they registered as 16 year olds and then re-register to vote at their college campus, creating duplicate registrations (sometimes in different states)?
The burden is placed on the county elections board to verify the voter's location. So for all intents and purposes, they have to track down and find every 16 year old two years later.
It also may automatically add people to the voter rolls who have no interest or intent to vote ever, further creating the opportunities for fraud and complications in voting.
While the intentions of the bill sponsors to increase voter participation amoung the youth is noble, creating a pre-registration program has too many vulnerabilities and burdens on county officials to verify the location of a highly mobile population. If 18 year olds want to register to vote, there are already school-based voter registration drives, motor-voter programs and many other outlets for those that are interested to do so. Creating a new mechanism is not needed.