Wilson and Democrats Propose Forcing Schools to Hold Youth Voter Registration Drives

Wilson and Democrats Propose Forcing Schools to Hold Youth Voter Registration Drives

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 1, 2024

US Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) filed the High School Voter Empowerment Act this week in an effort to spur youth voter registration. 

The High School Voter Empowerment Act would require States to designate public high schools as voter registration agencies.

High Schools would be required to conduct voter registration drives for its students. 

The bill would also provide funds to reimburse schools for any costs related to executing voter registration dives. 

Senator  Laphonza Butler stood alongside Representative Wilson during the bill’s introduction ceremony, signaling she could be the Senate lead for the initiative. 

Additionally, Wilson presented the bill alongside fifteen other lawmakers, including Representatives Darren Soto (D-FL) and Maxwell Frost (D-FL). 

Florida Democrats have observed the voter registration gap between themselves and Republicans increasingly widen over the last few years. 

As reported by The Floridian’s Jackson Bakich, after years of Democrats dominating the state of Florida in terms of party affiliation of its residents, Republicans – for the first time in history – took the lead in December of 2021.

As of March 31st, 2024, Republicans lead Democrats by nearly 900,000 registered voters. 

States like Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and others also have larger shares of registered Republican voters than Democrat ones. 

However, according to Pew Research Center, Democrats have traditionally captured a larger proportion of young voters (ages 18-29).

In this light, Wilson’s bill could be an attempt to capitalize on such trend and recover lost ground in states like Florida.

Given the bill’s want of Republican support, however, it is unlikely it will ever see the light of day while Republicans control the House of Representatives. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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