Bill to pre-register young voters clears first hurdle

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DENVER — A proposal to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote by checking a box on their driver’s license application cleared its first legislative hurdle on Monday.

House Bill 1035, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, cleared the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on a 7-3 vote.

The measure would allow teens to register at the DMV when they turn 16 so that their registration automatically activates when they turn 18.

“Over 56 percent of young voters didn’t vote last year, so we’re know there’s a problem and hopefully this is one solution that will get our young voters involved and excited,” Singer told FOX31 Denver.

But Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, a former county clerk and recorder, sees the proposal as an administrative nightmare.

“I think the added administration of this doesn’t justify what is trying to be accomplished,” Murray said. “Getting a driver’s license is a completely different process than registering to vote, because the DMV doesn’t care if you move. But, if you’re a registered voter and you move, it affects your ballot, which is why you have to re-register.

“So what happens if you move and go off to college when you’re 18?”

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