JUNEAU – Rep. Grier Hopkins (D-Fairbanks) has introduced legislation that would encourage voter engagement and motivate younger Alaskans to get involved in their democracy.
House Bill 250 would allow Alaskans who are 16 years old to pre-register to vote. Participants in the program would officially become registered by the Division of Elections as an active voter 90 days before they turn 18.
2019 Alaska Teacher of the Year Amy Gallaway said, “Allowing early registration will enable teachers, families, and communities to teach voting skills, demystify our process, and empower students to use their most valuable right responsibly.”
“It is incredibly important to encourage civic engagement, and this bill helps lay the foundation for the next generation to learn the process,” Representative Hopkins said. “I’m excited to see the spark this bill will provide to young Alaskans and hope it inspires future voters and creates an electorate that is more engaged and informed.”
Voter pre-registration is common across the United States. 23 states and the District of Columbia offer some form of preregistration before an individual turns 18. These states have seen increases in young voter participation.
HB 250’s first hurdle in the Legislature is the House State Affairs Committee.
Office of Rep. Grier Hopkins