March 08, 2019

Neguse Amendment on National Pre-Registration Passes the House with H.R. 1

Washington D.C.—Today, an amendment from Congressman Joe Neguse on national early registration passed the House with bipartisan support—239 total votes—as part of H.R. 1, the For the People Act. The amendment allows 16 and 17-year-olds nationwide the ability to pre-register to vote ahead of their 18th birthday. The amendment—also introduced as stand-alone legislation in the Next Generation Votes Act earlier this Congress—mirrors efforts taken in Colorado to ensure that young people are able to register to vote at a time when they are already interacting with government agencies, for example as they are at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get their driver’s licenses or learner’s permits.

“A primary barrier for young voters is registration. Pre-registration, therefore, is essential to ensure that our next generation are engaged and active in our political process early and face no barriers at the ballot box when they turn 18,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “A major tenant of H.R.1 is a commitment to ensure that every citizen has equal and fair access to the ballot box. Having worked to make it easier for Coloradans to register and vote, I’m excited to see early registration for our young people across the country pass on the House floor today as part of this democratic reform package.”

Currently, 14 states—including Colorado—and the District of Columbia permit pre-registration beginning at 16-years-old. Four states permit pre-registration beginning at 17-years-old, and 5 other states allow for pre-registration a few months ahead of voters 18th birthday. The Next Generation Votes Act, which the amendment was based on, is supported by New Era Colorado, Public Citizen, Indivisible, Common Cause, FairVote Action, the Progressive Turnout Project, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and other national groups.

View remarks from Neguse on the floor in support of the amendment here. (clip)

Neguse is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1 and joined Congressman John Sarbanes—the lead sponsor of the bill—and other freshman members for a livestream discussion on Wednesday evening with NowThis. View here.