When young people are registered to vote, they vote.
But a new study by the Civics Center, a national nonpartisan organization that works to increase high school voter registration, shows that comparatively few 18-year-olds in New Hampshire are registered to vote.
The report showed that just 13.2 percent of 18-year-olds were registered statewide – lower than rates in other parts of the country that the Civics Center has studied. But that number has increased since June, when research showed that just 8.5 percent of 18-year-olds were registered in the Granite State.
Registration must be done in-person in New Hampshire, and same-day registration in New Hampshire provides an opportunity for people to register and vote on Election Day, November 8.
In New Hampshire 17,000 youth turn 18 every year, and approximately 20% of high school seniors will be old enough to vote in November.
“There’s an enormous opportunity for New Hampshire to welcome young voters to democracy,” said Laura W. Brill, Founder of the Civics Center. “Our studies have shown that when young people are registered, they’re very likely to show up to vote. The challenge is to provide more opportunities for young people to register.”
As part of its overall commitment to the civic health of New Hampshire communities, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation commissioned this report to help understand the landscape of youth voting in the state. “We hope this information will encourage young people to register and vote, and help communities, nonprofits, teachers and families encourage more of New Hampshire’s young people to participate,” said Deborah Schachter, senior program officer and policy advisor at the Charitable Foundation.
Read the Civics Center’s full report here.
The Civics Center, in collaboration with Open Democracy, a New Hampshire nonprofit, has developed materials to help young first-time voters in New Hampshire understand the process.
Guidance from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office on registering to vote in New Hampshire can be found here.