Harrisburg – July 23, 2018 – State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) today announced that he is sponsoring legislation to make it easier for young people to engage in the political process.
Farnese’s bill would permit 16- and 17-year olds to preregister to vote. The preregistration would qualify the youths for automatic voter registration once they reach 18-years of age.
“Especially in the wake of the tragic school shootings, and after repeated challenges to our democracy, our young people are engaged in the political process,” Farnese said. “We should do all we can to remove all obstacles to their participation and give them a voice in our democracy.”
Farnese said preregistration has been implemented in California, where 100,000 pre-voting age people have registered since 2016.
“As American citizens, we are being challenged to become more involved in the political process,” Farnese said. “It’s both refreshing and inspirational that our young citizens want to be part of the process.”
Farnese said the state’s registration system (SURE) is run through the Pennsylvania Department of State. He said he is confident that the system will be able to manage the pre-registration process outlined in his legislation.
In addition to adding preregistration, Farnese said he supports a wide range of electoral reforms.
“Our electoral system needs to be open, transparent and inclusive,” Farnese said. “We can institute more reforms that create a better electoral access while ensuring that the system is secure from hacks and manipulation.”