New bill: Teens could pre-register to vote as early as 15-years-old

Process could muster interest from younger crowd

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - 'Get them while they're young', that's the goal of a new bill making its way through the state legislature.

If approved, it would allow Californians to pre-register to vote at 15-years-old and it could start as early as next year.

In 2010, the Secretary of State's office said 50 percent of young people between 18 and 24 were registered to vote.

That's compared to other age groups which are at 80 percent.  

Supporters of the bill hope to fill that gap and muster interest from more young people in the voting process.

"Young people are more likely to become life long voters when we reach them early," said California Secretary of State Shannan Velayas.  "We've seen this through Civic Education Programs and it's something that the California Secretary of State really cares passionately about."

15-year-olds would be able to pre-register online through the Secretary of State's office and at the DMV when getting their learner's permit.

Opponents said lowering the vote pre-registration age will increase paperwork for election officials who already have a strained electoral system.

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