California sees an increase in teens pre-registering to vote
California’s relatively new system for pre-registering teens to vote seems to be doing very well. In the first months of the system’s existence, there were 88,700 teenagers that pre-registered. The online system lets 16 and 17 year olds pre-register to vote and they will automatically be registered to vote on their 18th birthday as long as they’re a U.S. citizen and a California resident. In an interview from March with the Los Angeles Times, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said,
It’s just picking up as time goes on. More and more young people are aware of it.
The data was released by Padilla in March and covers the first 18 months of a law, Senate Bill 113, which allowed voter pre-registration beginning at age 16 once the California’s statewide voter registration database, VoteCal, was certified. The bill was signed in 2014 and VoteCal was certified in 2016, but pre-registration was initially only offered through paper forms. The most interesting thing about the pre-registrations is that most of the teens declined to identify as Republicans or Democrats. The largest bloc of the pre-registrations, almost 44 percent, was by teens who said they had “no party preference.” Hopefully, more teenagers continue to pre-register to vote and become more active in voting.