RELEASE: The 2 Policies That Lead to More Millennial and Generation Z Voters

Washington, D.C. — A new report from the Center for American Progress and Generation Progress, CAP’s youth engagement arm, highlights the important role automatic voter registration (AVR) and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds play in facilitating voter participation among young people who are often disenfranchised by cumbersome voter registration rules.

The report, “Pro-Voter Reforms Were Key to Young Americans Voting in the 2018 Elections,” examines the success that California and Oregon’s AVR and preregistration systems had in registering tens of thousands of young people who turned out to vote during the 2018 midterm elections.

Among the key findings of the report:

In Oregon:

  • More than 77,800 16- and 17- year-olds preregistered and updated their voter information through the state’s AVR program between 2016 and 2018. Of those who later turned 18 and became eligible to vote during the 2018 midterms elections, more than 18,800 cast a ballot and made their voices heard.

In California:

  • Since debuting its AVR program in April 2018, more than 77,600 16- and 17-year-olds preregistered to vote and updated their voter information through AVR, with more than 50,800 of those who reached voting age participating in the 2018 midterms.

The report was unveiled at an event at the Center during which Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) discussed her state’s path to become the first state in the nation to implement AVR. A recording of the event will be posted here later today.

“States like Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas are passing voter suppression laws targeted at young people. In Oregon, I’m committed to ensuring every eligible young voter has an opportunity to have their voice heard,” said Gov. Brown. “Young people have a vested interested in Oregon’s future and should be able to register and cast their vote free from barriers.”

At the event, Generation Progress also unveiled a new youth voter story bank. “Our Vote, Our Voice” will serve as a tool to collect real anecdotes from real people and show lawmakers across the country the challenges that young people face when exercising their right to vote.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202-495-3682.