(Columbus) - They wouldn't be able to vote, but 16 and 17 year old Ohioans would be able to pre-register to cast a ballot when they turn 18 under a bill introduced this week at the Ohio Statehouse.
"I believe it's never too early to start to engage young people about both their right and their responsibility to vote and what better group to start with that our young people," said Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat.
She points to a study from FairVote that shows only 59 percent of 18-24 year olds are registered to vote compared to 71 percent of all eligible voters nationwide.
“Ohio should be the gold standard of how elections are run,” said Turner. “Ensuring that as many voters as possible are registered is one big step toward reaching that goal.”
Currently, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, and Rhode Island allow pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds, and California and Oregon have allowed this practice for 17-year-olds.
Turner says she's not advocating for lowering the voting age with this bill.
"That's something that we should think about, but until those rules are changed they are what they are right now," she said.
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