At the Alliance, we are fierce advocates for protecting the right to vote, expanding access to the ballot box, and ensuring that all voices are heard in our democracy. That’s why we partnered with the Daily Kos to launch this petition calling on Congress to protect and expand youth voter access. Sign the petition today!
Sign Our Petition: Congress Must Protect and Expand Youth Voter Access
August will mark the 54th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. As we take the time to reflect on watershed moments of the past, we should remind ourselves of the role that young people played to secure these victories for civil and civic rights. Young people are still leading on critical issues for our democracy, including on the protection and expansion of voting rights.
It is young people stepping up at the state and local levels, getting organized, and taking action that often secure crucial democratic victories that are later enshrined into federal law. Today, we have numerous examples of this youth power and leadership in motion – whether it is The Bus Project leading the charge to make Oregon the first state in the nation to pass automatic voter registration, New Era Colorado delivering pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds and online voter registration across the state, or Chicago Votes ensuring that those in pre-trial detention have access to the ballot. As a part of the Alliance for Youth Action network, these organizations mobilize young people to secure our democracy for all people.
However, too many young people still face obstacles to exercising their constitutional right to vote. It is crucial that young people have a voice in government and the chance to secure a more equitable future. The current system for voter registration and access leaves millions of younger potential voters outside of the political system, with young people of color disproportionately impacted.
Congress must now follow the lead of youth-led organizations to welcome young voters into our democracy. This is done by prioritizing automatic voter registration, pre-registration, longer early voting periods, same-day voter registration, accessible voting locations, and vote-by-mail. Removing barriers to voter registration and access to the ballot is strongly linked to higher turnout and our democracy is best when all feel empowered to exercise their right to vote.
Our message to Congress:
We are asking you to protect voting rights and access to the ballot – especially for young voters. Young voters are now the largest eligible voting population and unnecessary obstacles to the polls put democracy out of reach for far too many. Congress must ensure all Americans have not only the right to vote but access to the vote as well.