As part of National Voter Registration Day, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Sept. 25 that 209,577 16- and 17-year-olds have preregistered to vote.
In 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that allowed voter preregistration beginning at age 16 through VoteCal, California’s statewide voter registration database.
VoteCal was certified in September 2016 and since then more than 104,000 of the 16- and 17-year olds that preregistered have turned 18. They are eligible to vote in the upcoming November election.
“These young people represent the next generation of active, informed, and engaged voters,” Padilla said in a statement.
Of those who preregistered since September 2016, 47.46 percent registered with No Party Preference, 34.44 percent registered as Democratic, and 9.59 percent registered as Republican.
In April 2017, Padilla launched online preregistration through the state’s voter registration portal at RegisterToVote.ca.gov.
He also started an online high school portal to connect California youth with civic engagement opportunities like preregistration, organizing student mock elections, and student poll worker information. That portal is at HighSchool.sos.ca.gov.
By Nuria Marquez