Last week, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon wrote that “it’s a good time to talk about good habits,” specifically voting habits.
He was addressing a bill before the Minnesota legislature that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Simon noted that almost half of states already allow some form of preregistration for high school-aged students.
He clarified that young people would not be able to vote until they turn 18, but that “It’s about getting good habits started early, and encouraging young people to think of themselves as both civic-minded and as voters before they turn 18.”
He cited recent findings that show pre-registration has increased voter turnout anywhere from 8 percent to 13 percent. “We have a great opportunity this year to increase civic participation among young people and instill in the next generation of Minnesotans the values that have made our state a role model for the nation.”
Minnesota frequently leads the nation with high voter turnout. In 2014 the state ranked 6th, with 50.5% of eligible voters casting ballots.