Some states are trying to boost youth voter registration. Here’s what they’re doing

States across the U.S. are implementing policies to boost youth voter registration, but young voters still face numerous challenges in navigating the voting process.

Policy measures: In efforts to enhance youth voter engagement, some states have made strides toward lowering barriers for new voters.
* Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz, signed a law making it easier for young citizens below 18 to register to vote.
* About half of the U.S. States have implemented automatic voter registration, which occurs predominantly at the DMV when citizens come of voting age.
* According to Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the Newhouse director at CIRCLE at Tufts University, automatic voter registration is more effective when paired with pre-registration, a policy currently offered to under-18s in about 20 U.S. states.

Challenges: Despite these advancements, younger voters still face significant obstacles when trying to register.
* Frequent moving and unfamiliarity with governmental procedures can complicate the process.
* Lack of online registration in states like Texas can deter potential voters who struggle with older, non-digital systems.
* Charlotte Hill, director of the Democracy Policy Initiative at UC Berkeley, emphasized that the American political system has not been built to cater to young voters.

The other side: While efforts to increase youth registration are underway, not all advocates agree with broadening accessibility to young voters.
* Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has proposed raising the voting age to 25, except for those serving their communities or passing a civics test.

Impact: Despite logistic challenges, policy efforts have seen success in increasing registration amongst young citizens.
* As per a Georgia’s AVR program, youth registration rates are nearing parity with the rest of the electorate.
* Overall, voter registration amongst U.S. citizens hit a record high during the last midterm election.

View original article on NPR

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