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California high school students can pre-register to vote

Girl holding sign. Text reads, "Pre-register at sixteen, vote at eighteen." Sept. 16-27 are High School Voter Education Weeks, which provide an opportunity for young Californians who are 16 or 17 years of age to pre-register to vote, thereby cultivating an environment of proactive citizens who can share their voice. Those who pre-register to vote will be automatically registered once they turn 18 years old.  

Pre-registration allows teens the ability to register to vote early, which can prevent potential delays, such as missing the voter registration deadline of 15 days before any election day.

Pre-registration is simple and easy to do online or via a paper application. To pre-register, simply fill out the form online at the Secretary of State’s website or visit any DMV, many post offices, public libraries or government offices for a paper application. One can also be requested from your county elections office. To obtain a voter registration application via mail, call (800) 345-VOTE (8643).

If students do not have a California driver’s license or identification card number, they can still use the online form to apply to register.

Pre-registration does not change the voting age, which is 18 years old; it simply gives high school students sufficient time to become informed voters. Once 18, a postcard will be sent to their address saying their registration is active. In the next election, voters will automatically receive their election-related materials.

For more information visit the Secretary of State’s website.