SACRAMENTO -- Californians as young as 15 would be able to file papers enabling them to vote in elections as soon as they turn 18 under legislation endorsed this week by a state Senate Committee.
The measure by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) would lower the age of pre-registration from 17 to 15 starting next year as a way to get more young people to participate in the political process.
While no other state allows pre-registration at 15, there are 14 states that allow registration before 18, including Alaska and Kansas. Supporters said many 15-year-olds have their first interaction at that age with the Department of Motor Vehicles, where voter registration applications are available.
"As many young people are going to the DMV for their learner’s permit on their way to a driver’s license, it would be a perfect opportunity to capture them to register to vote," said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima).