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Voter Pre-registration

Preregistration is a policy that allows eligible people as young as 16 to sign up to be registered to vote once they turn 18. Most states that allow preregistration will add applicants to voter lists under a pending status, which is then updated to active when the voter turns 18. Preregistration increases turnout and engagement for young voters, who are historically the least likely to exercise their right to vote.
United States Map
Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont
  • State allows preregistration beginning at 16 years old (17 states, + D.C.)
  • State allows preregistration beginning at 17 years old (4 states)
  • State does not set specific age but allows preregistration if individual will turn 18 by the next election (24 states)
  • State allows preregistration only within six months or less of 18th birthday (5 states)

Breakdown by Population

*Note: These percentages reflect the voting-eligible population, as reported by the United States Election Project.

43%

43 % of voting-eligible population live in states that allow 16-year olds to preregister

5%

5 % of voting-eligible population live in states that allow 17-year olds to preregister

37%

37 % of voting-eligible population live in states that allow preregistration if eligible by 18th birthday

15%

15 % of voting-eligible population live in states that allow preregistration only within six months or less of 18th birthday



Data current as of 10/29/2021
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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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