ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Spin Control

Lege Day 4: Pre-registering voters at 16

OLYMPIA – One of the most popular ways to register to vote is to sign up when applying for a driver’s license. Unless you’re 16 or 17, the time when most drivers get their first license but are too young to vote.
State Rep. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, thinks the state should help those young drivers and all 16- and 17-year-olds become good voters, by letting them “pre-register” to vote, so they’ll automatically be added to the rolls when they turn 18.


To read the rest of this item, or for links to the bills, click here to go inside the blog.


  


OLYMPIA – One of the most popular ways to register to vote is to sign up when applying for a driver’s license. Unless you’re 16 or 17, the time when most drivers get their first license but are too young to vote.
State Rep. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, thinks the state should help those young drivers and all 16- and 17-year-olds become good voters, by letting them “pre-register” to vote, so they’ll automatically be added to the rolls when they turn 18.
While there are plenty of ways for those citizens to register once they are eligible, “that doesn’t mean we should prevent them from having access to the most popular method,” Billig said during a hearing on HB2205 in the House State Government Committee.
A separate bill, HB2204, which he also supports, would allow all citizens to register and vote on Election Day. That would be particularly helpful to college students who often are caught up in moving and registering for classes in the months before elections, representatives of different student groups said.
But elections officials and some Republicans are skeptical. County auditors said the pre-registration bill would require them to keep a list of people who aren’t yet eligible – but will be at some future date – separate from the voter registration rolls. They’d be notifying those young voters just about the same time many would be leaving home, and their listed address, for school or a job and possibly trying to register somewhere else.
Billig called the need for separate lists an “operational problem” that could be worked out with elections officials’ help. Although 18-year-olds are among the most likely to move, 16- and 17-year-olds are relatively stable, he said.
Pre-registration could set up expectations that could be frustrating, Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, said. They’d be registering to drive right away, but to vote at some point in the future.
  


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Spin Control

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Spin Control.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here