More than 60,000 North Carolina teenagers will be eligible to vote this November thanks to a state law allowing people to pre-register as young as 16 years old.
Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan election reform organization, said that's enough to decide the outcome of many close races, but he said it's difficult to guess how exactly that will shift the balances.
An analysis by Democracy N.C. indicates 30 percent are affiliating with the Democratic Party and the same amount are signing up with the Republican Party. One percent is aligning with the Libertarian Party, and 39 percent are choosing none.
These young voters "are more independent and more inclined to evaluate candidates without relying on party labels," said Hall.
The preregistration law took effect in 2010 after being passed with wide bipartisan support.
Five other states allow citizens to preregister, but North Carolina’s law is the only one that requires election officials to hold drives in high schools annually, said Hall.