Letters to the Editor: December 31, 2020 – January 6, 2021
Delegate Simon Should Push For Teens To Pre-Register As Voters
As a resident of Virginia’s 53rd House of Delegates District, I was excited to hear about Delegate Marcus Simon’s appointment as Chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee. Del. Simon has an excellent opportunity to build off the work made in 2020 to expand access to the ballot booth, and he should use his influence to pass Majority Whip Delegate Alfonso Lopez’s bill to allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.
I write as Chair of the Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus, which represents 400 Virginia teen Democrats across 27 high school clubs in the Commonwealth. The Teen Caucus wholeheartedly supports allowing voter pre-registration at age 16 because it would simplify the voter registration process and increase youth participation in the politics. This bill would allow young people who are not yet old enough to vote to complete a pre-registration form and be automatically added to voter rolls when they do become eligible to vote.
In the weeks before the deadline to register to vote in the 2020 election, I had countless people ask me how they could help register high school first-time voters. Instead of scrambling at the last minute to register high school students, Virginia should allow these students to pre-register to vote at age 16.
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