Last year over 800,000 voters used National Voter Registration Day, opens a new window to register to vote across all 50 states. If you aren't registered, moved, or aren’t sure if your voting information is up to date—register online, opens a new window or visit one of our community libraries on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Library staff can assist you in registering or help you find out where and how to vote, opens a new window.
Teens Rock the Vote With Pre-Registration
22 million teens will turn 18 by the 2020 presidential elections. While youth have been advocating for their voices to be heard, many young people remain unsure about how to participate in elections. The key to getting voting-age youth to vote is registration.
According to the non-partisan Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, opens a new window, 50% of 18 to 29 year-olds didn't vote in the 2016 presidential election. But youth voting matters!
It matters because:
- Voting is habit-forming.
- Young people deserve to be heard.
- The youth vote can influence elections.
While youth voter registration is much lower than it is for other age groups, it has been shown that young people tend to vote in high numbers when they are registered. All signs point to teen registration being beneficial. That's why the State of California is offering pre-registration and even exploring lowering the voting age to 17 with Constitutional Amendment Eight, opens a new window (ACA 8). The Amendment passed the California State Assembly on August 26 and would amend the state constitution to lower the voting age to 17 for all state-wide elections. So while voting at 17 may soon be in your future, right now all eligible 16 and 17 year-olds can pre-register, opens a new window.
Pre-registration does not change the voting age, which is 18. Instead, it allows eligible Californians ages 16 or 17 to complete the online voter pre-registration form, opens a new window to provide a head start on getting ready to vote.
Get in the Habit
With all this activity around teens and voting, you might be looking for some practice. Check out our Instagram @smclibraries, opens a new window, and take our fun voting challenge. #youthvote, opens a new window, #NVRD, opens a new window, #smcvote, opens a new window
California Will Hold Primary Elections March 3, 2020
Last year California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law to move California's primary elections in 2020 to the beginning of March, three months ahead of when they were held in 2016.
That means that in order to vote in the California Presidential Primary Election scheduled for March 3, 2020, you must register to vote, opens a new window by February 17, 2020. In order to vote in any election in California, you must be registered to vote 15 days prior to that election.
Every year millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss the registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t even sure how to register. Don't let that happen to you! Register to vote now, opens a new window or visit your community library, opens a new window for help.
National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday celebrating our democracy. It was first observed in 2012 and has been growing every year since. Held on the fourth Tuesday of September, this year National Voter Registration Day will be observed on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
National Voter Registration Day has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State, opens a new window (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors, opens a new window (NASED), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, opens a new window (EAC), and The National Association of Election Officials, opens a new window (The Election Center).
For more information on voting, youth voting, and more—visit Voter’s Edge California, opens a new window, 22x20, opens a new window, Cap, Gown, Vote!, opens a new window, the American Association of People with Disabilities REV UP campaign, opens a new window, Rock the Vote, opens a new window, and the League of Women Voters of North & Central San Mateo County, opens a new window.
Tell us about your first time voting. Use the comments below!