Michigan Bill Permitting 16- and 17-Year-Olds to Preregister to Vote Awaits Governor’s Signature

UPDATE: On Thursday, Nov. 30, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed the bill into law.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Registering to vote could get much easier for young people in Michigan thanks to a bill that cleared the Legislature last night. 

The final version of the legislation — which passed the state House on a party-line vote last night and advanced in the state Senate last week — allows Michiganders aged 16 to 17 and a half to pre-register to vote. Currently, only those 17 and a half or older can do so. 

The legislation also mandates that the Michigan Department of Education coordinate a public education and outreach campaign to inform young voters of the available methods to pre-register or register to vote. If enacted, every public high school in the state will also have to provide resources for registration. 

Rep. Betsy Coffia (D), who sponsored the legislation, said the bill would “undoubtedly increase participation in our elections by ensuring when they are legally eligible to vote at 18, they will be all set to become a lifelong voter.”

Michigan would be the third midwestern state to expand registration for young people in recent months — Illinois and Minnesota both passed laws allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister earlier this year.

The bill now awaits Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.

Read the bill here.

Track the status of the bill here.