More than 33,000 Colorado teenagers are pre-registered to vote when they turn 18, and the state is hoping new efforts will push that number even higher.
The nonprofit group Inspire Colorado is working with high school students on registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts. Two of the schools they’ve partnered with – Yuma High on the Eastern Plains and Eaglecrest in Arapahoe County – have registered more than 85 percent of their senior classes.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams credits the effort’s success to student leadership.
“In both cases, there were students who were helping to lead that effort," Williams said. "It works much better than some adult telling a teenager they need to register to vote.”
Colorado expanded its voter pre-registration program three years ago to include 16 year olds. Once they turn 18, they will automatically start getting mail ballots.
Of the teens who are currently pre-registered, 56 percent are unaffiliated, 22 percent are Republicans, and 20 percent are Democrats.
Correction: an earlier version of this story misidentified the two high schools.