Why is Pre-Registering to Vote Important?


Courtesy of smcacre.org

Jasleen Nijjar, Features Editor

In the United States, people are starting to see the necessity in voting. Pre-registering to vote is held athe same level of importance as voting because it illustrates the opinions of young minds who are going to be the voices and ideas of the future. 

The youngest age for an individual to pre-register to vote is 16. However, the age to officially vote is still 18. As stated in the Federal government of the United States, By pre-registering to vote at the age of 16 or 17, you are automatically registered to vote on your 18th birthday.”   

It is believed that voting should be accessible to all U.S. citizens no matter where they live, their ethnicity or their income. By pre-registering to vote, an individual provides themselves with the opportunity to get ready to vote when they become of age. Certain criteria must be met in order to pre-register. The criteria include the individual being a U.S. citizen, not currently in a state or federal prison or on parole and not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court, as stated by California Secretary of State. 

 In some states, however, 16-year-old individuals are not eligible to pre-register. 16 may be considered too young an age to pre-register to vote by some people. Others, however, may find it very beneficial for 16 year-olds to pre-register to vote. West High’s AP US History teacher Shannon McMahon explains her opinion on the topic, “I do not think 16 is to young to pre-register to vote. Might be a little young to vote though, but I do not know some 16 year-olds who are more politically active than some adults.” Similarly, Senior Victor Buz  states, “No, I believe the age of 16 is the perfect age to pre-register to vote. It’s that age where you see teenagers getting jobs and their license. I believe if they can work and drive then they should be able to pre-register to vote.” Senior Khadija Monhammadi also spoke on the topic and statesI think kids at 16 should pre-register to vote because they are grown pre-adults and have the right to say in anything whatsoever.” 

There are two ways to place a vote. One of these ways is going to the polls to vote while the other way is to vote online. Pre-registering to vote would make it easier for new voters to vote when the time comes. Every individual has their own preference as to what they believe is a more efficient way of voting. McMahon states, “Go to the polls or vote by mail (absentee) as online can be more easily hacked in my opinion.” Similarly, AP Government teacher Michael Castor states, “As far as efficient goes, it would probably be more efficient to vote in person on average. But you have to remember there has always been a lot of absentee ballots. It’s just that the catch this year is that there are millions coming in at different times…” 

Every state has a certain number of representatives speaking for the majority. According to U.S. Capitol Visitor Center“…each state shall have at least one U.S. Representatives, while the total size of a state’s delegation to the House depends on its population.” As the number of people represented by each member increases, so does the membership in the House of Representatives. The representatives speak for the voters so it is important for the young generation to pre-register to vote, so they can be apart of the majority and understand how everything works with the representatives when they have to vote. 

Voting in the U.S. takes place in NovemberWould it be more efficient for voting to take place earlier in the year? Buz speaks on the voters perspective by stating, “I think it would matter if voting took place earlier in the year because there are many voters that want to know more about the candidates and… more about the propositions they are voting for. Voting in November gives time for voters to do their research and feel confident about their vote.” Castor, speaks on the perspective of the president by stating “Once we get the results, then the president will know if he is staying or going. So, one thing it would definitely help with if you moved it up a little bit… what it would do is it would give the president coming in a lot more time to decide who his cabinet members are and it’s not more of a rush. Perhaps, if voting took place earlier in the year it might feel a little rushed for people who are pre-registering to vote because they may need more time to understand everything including the different methods and more information on the candidates they are voting for.