Allowing Voter Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds
PASSED THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
HB 2125 will allow a Virginian who is otherwise qualified to register to vote and is 16 years of age or older, but who will not be 18 years of age on or before the day of the next general election, to preregister to vote. The preregistration does not entitle such a person to vote in any election except as already permitted by law. The bill requires the Department of Elections to maintain a record of all preregistered voters in the Virginia voter registration system, which shall automatically register a person who is preregistered upon that person reaching 18 years or age or becoming eligible for advance registration as already permitted by law, whichever comes first. The bill requires the Department to provide to the general registrars voter confirmation documents for such voters. It was patroned by former Young Democrat and House Majority Whip Del. Alfonso Lopez.
The Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus has been lobbying in support of this bill since the summer. In January, the Virginia Teenage Republicans joined us in supporting the legislation. Despite the support of the Teen Republicans, not a single Republican voted for the legislation.
This bill passed the General Assembly and is awaiting action from Governor Ralph Northam. Once signed, it will go into effect in late 2022.