Election Section

Younger Voters Step Up in California

Brett Johnson (BCN)
Friday April 01, 2016 - 10:13:00 AM

There has been a surge of younger Californians exhibiting interest in voting in the first three months of the year, according to numbers released by the state Wednesday.

More than 560,000 people have either registered to vote or updated existing information so far this year, and 36 percent of those people were between the ages of 17 and 25, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office.

"We are witnessing a wave of young Californians engaging in the democratic process," Padilla said in a statement. "The timing says everything - they want to vote." 

Throughout all of 2014, there were only 425,220 new registrations or updated registrations through the state's voter website, which is only 100,000 more than totals just for this month, according to data released by Padilla's office. 

"This surge in online voter registration suggests that elections officials throughout our state should be preparing for a surge in turnout during the June 7 Presidential Primary Election," Padilla said. 

California residents who are 17 years old can register to vote if they will be 18 or older by the next election. 

Padilla's office said reaching these new voters has been one of his initiatives. Among other efforts, he has been conducting outreach at high schools. 

Online voter registration can be done via RegisterToVote.ca.gov. 

"It is vital that California voters cast a ballot to shape the future of our state and nation," Padilla said. "The stakes could not be higher during this election season." 

Another report on voter registration, which will also include registrations made on paper, will be released next month and will reflect statistics as of April 8.