Washington, D.C./Boston, MA – On Monday, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) introduced the Youth Voting Rights Act, which would expand youth access to voting. This legislation is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii.). In the House of Representatives, this legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), and Deborah Ross (D-N.C.).
Warren says that young voters participate in elections at lower rates than voters in older age cohorts. Their provisional ballots and mail-in ballots are rejected at disproportionate rates. And they routinely face serious obstacles to voter registration and in-person voting.
“Voting is the beating heart of our democracy. Young people are the future of America, and with voting rights under attack across the country, we must do everything we can to ensure they can exercise their right to vote. My new bicameral bill with Congresswoman Williams will ensure young people aren’t left out of the voting process, and I’m thrilled to partner with her and my colleagues on this effort,” said Senator Warren.
“It has never been more important to protect the health of our democracy and defend the most fundamental right of every American – the right to vote,” said Senator Markey. “The Youth Voting Rights Act will ensure young Americans, who represent the future of our democracy, are equal parts eager and empowered to participate in their first election by the time they turn eighteen.”