Superintendent Austin Beutner and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla emailed a letter today to more than 30,000 students in L.A. Unified’s Class of 2018, encouraging them to register to vote and to cast their ballots in the upcoming elections.
The joint letter includes links to the state’s voter registration website. In future years, registration information will be included in high school seniors’ graduation packets.
“Civic engagement among our students can make a difference, and voting helps their voices be heard,” Beutner said. “Registering to vote is an important step that we want all of our students to know about.”
Students can register if they are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. Those who do so by June 5 can cast a conditional ballot in that day’s statewide election. Students who are 16 or 17 can pre-register and become automatically eligible to vote on their 18th birthday.
Padilla said that registering to vote is an important first step in becoming active and engaged participants in democracy. He noted that just 8 percent of eligible 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the 2014 general election.
“For our democracy to thrive, we must educate the next generation of voters – our youth,” Padilla said. “Through this partnership with L.A. Unified, we will inform all eligible recent graduates about their right to pre-register and register to vote. By engaging our youth early, we will encourage a culture of lifelong voting.”