Young people have the potential to be a powerful voice in elections, but only if they get involved and make voting a habit.
Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond are encouraging students to become active voters once they are old enough to cast a ballot through High School Voter Education Weeks, which spans Sept. 19 through Sept. 30.
In California, students ages 16 and 17 can pre–register to vote, making them automatically eligible to vote as soon as they turn 18 years old. State officials say registering young people in advance has proven successful, with more than 900,000 pre-registrations since the state program launched in 2016.
To further involve students in the democratic process, middle and high school campuses are also invited to participate in the California Mock Election, which will take place on Oct. 11. The event allows students to experience a simulated election process where they can cast mock ballots for statewide candidates and measures that will appear on the actual ballot this November.
As students learn about the candidates and issues, they discover how government and politics affect every part of their lives. Through mock elections and other civic learning opportunities, they also gain firsthand knowledge of how they as citizens contribute to democracy.
If you have questions about the 2022 California Student Mock Election or other civic engagement opportunities, contact the Secretary of State’s Student Mock Election Team at 916-651-3070 or MyVote@sos.ca.gov.