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House panel opens hearings on elections bills

The state House Elections Committee opened hearings today on a package of voting rights bills.

Some of these measures have been long-sought by Democrats, such as making it easier to vote absentee. Some are part of implementing the voting rights amendment adopted by voters last year.

One bill would allow 16-year-olds to pre-register so they’re automatically added to voter rolls when they turn 18. Democratic Representative Penelope Tsernoglou is a bill sponsor. She also chairs the elections committee. She said 15 other states already allow pre-registration at 16 years old.

“Mostly it has to do when they’re stepping into more adult responsibilities like driver’s license.”

Republicans on the committee were skeptical and said they’re concerned that making voting easier could also make elections less secure.

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