Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday signed a package of bills aimed at increasing voter access in Washington state, including a measure to preregister 16- and 17-year-olds and another that allows in-person voter registration to occur the same day of an election. “I’m proud of our state for making it easier to vote, not harder,” Inslee told the crowd of students and other supporters at Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington, where the bill signing ceremony was held. Under one of the measures , starting on July 1, 2019, people can preregister to vote starting at age 16, though they won’t be added to the list of registered voters until the next election at which they’ll be 18.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures , Washington will join 12 states and the District of Columbia in allowing preregistration beginning at age 16. Four other states allow preregistration beginning at age 17, and an additional five states have varying rules for when a person may preregister when they near age 18.
“Young people should be the ones to shape the future, because it’s our future that we are all voting for,” Foster senior Maria Alvarez told the crowd. “We are the change.”