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Drive And Vote: 16-year-olds In Oregon Could Preregister To Vote At DMV

Chris Phan

Sixteen-year-olds may soon be able to pre-register to vote in Oregon. That’s according to a bill passed by the state’s House of Representatives Monday.

The bill, which is now on its way to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk for signature, would reduce the pre-voter registration age from 17 to 16. Those who do pre-register, still cannot vote until they turn 18, according to federal law.

Rep. Ann Lininger, who sponsored the bill, said it would encourage more Oregonians to vote. 

“Every year, 20,000 young Oregonians go to the Department of Motor Vehicles when they turn 16 to get a driver’s license,” she said. “With our 'motor-voter law,' we have a chance to enlist those Oregonians in voter pre-registration, which will make it easier for them to vote when they turn 18.”

Eleven other states already allow minors to register to vote when they apply for a driver’s license.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.