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16 Year Olds Could Pre-Register To Vote Under Michigan Bill

Michigan teens would be able to pre-register to vote under a proposal in Lansing.

The measure would allow 16 and 17 year olds to fill out their voter registration paperwork when they get their driver’s licenses. The state would mail their voter cards when they turn 18.

“It’s another way of making government much more efficient,” said state Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren. “It saves people in lines at secretary of state offices. It saves more correspondence going to the secretary of state’s office. It makes it a much easier process.”

“This is something tried in some other states. And they’ve had increased voter participation. And they allow individuals when they get their driver’s license at age 16 to pre-register to vote.”

Bieda is sponsoring a number of bills meant to make voting easier in Michigan. Other bills would allow no-reason absentee voting and online registration.

The Warren Democrat says he believes Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a Republican, is supportive of his efforts to increase voter participation. Johnson has said she is a champion of no-reason absentee voting, but that Michigan’s voter rolls must be updated and purged of residents who have moved out of state or died before that can happen.

Some lawmakers have also expressed concerns about the online registration proposal related to cyber security.