Voting Age for Primary Elections

5/9/2018

17-Year-Olds and Primary Elections

Although the federal voting age is 18, a third of the states allow those who are 17 but will be 18 by the general election to vote in primaries. Other states may do this as an administrative practice as well. States may take this action to encourage voter participation among young people, or because primaries can be seen as part of the general election process.

Some states may allow 17-year-olds to vote in presidential primaries or caucuses as well. These states are not included on this webpage.

For information on states that permit 16- and 17-year-olds to register to vote, see Preregistration for Young Voters.

States that Allow Voting Prior to 18
STATE STATUTE ENACTED
Connecticut Article XXXI, Articles of Amendment to the Constitution 2008
Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 15, §1701, 3110 2010
District of Columbia D.C. Code Ann. §1-1001.07 2009
Illinois Ill. Rev. Stat. §5/3-6 2013
Indiana Ind. Code §3-7-13-1 1995
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. §116.055 2010
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §111-A 2004
Maryland

Md. Ann. Code art. 3, §102(a)(2)

2010
Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. §23-15-11 1997
Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-110

1994
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. §1-4-2 2016
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. §163A-843 2016
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3503.011 1981
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. §7-5-180 1997
Utah Utah Code Ann. §20A-2-101 2018
Vermont Const. Ch. II, §42 2010
Virginia Va. Code §24.2-403   2004
West Virigina W. Va. Code §3-2-2 2013

Contact NCSl's election staff at elections-info@ncsl.org for more information.

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