California Joins States Allowing Young People to Pre-Register to Vote

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, voters between the ages of 18-24 have consistently voted at lower rates than all other age groups since 1964. Consequently, states are enacting statutes allowing for persons under the legal voting age of 18 to pre-register to vote.

California recently enacted a law allowing people to participate in voter pre-registration processes at the age of 16 so they will be prepared to vote upon turning 18. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla hopes pre-registering will encourage young people to vote and ease the process for young people to vote upon their 18th birthday. Previous elections have shown that allowing young people to pre-register to vote substantially increases voter turnout, and encouraging civic engagement earlier on increases the likelihood of lifetime turnout to the polls.

The California pre-registration process is online and easy for young people to access. The link to the process has been added on Padilla’s Secretary of State website.

28 states allow some form of pre-registration for young voters, varying from 16 years old, 17 years old, and certain periods before their 18th birthday.