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High School Voter Education Weeks

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
April 4, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:

HIGH SCHOOL VOTER EDUCATION WEEKS (APRIL 17–28)

As elections around the state approach, it is important to ensure that our students are learning to become active and engaged participants in our democracy. It is never too early to motivate your students to get involved. That’s why we strongly encourage your school to observe High School Voter Education Weeks on April 17–28 to put your students on the path to a lifetime of civic engagement and voting. This year we are pleased to announce a new online tool that allows eligible sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Their registration will automatically become valid when they turn 18.

California Education Code designates the last two weeks of April and September as “High School Voter Education Weeks” and authorizes schools to designate students as “voter outreach coordinators.” With county elections officials as partners, we provide resources to make it easy for schools to participate. Teachers can help eligible students who will be eighteen years old by the next election learn how to register to vote—either on a paper form or online. Voter outreach coordinators can lead registration drives and other school activities aimed at civic participation.

We encourage you to consider High School Voter Education Weeks just the beginning of your school’s civic engagement activities. Here are some ideas and resources to get you started:

Working together, we can educate and encourage our young citizens to register to vote and turn out at the polls to ensure their voices are heard in 2017 and beyond.

If you have any questions about High School Voter Education Weeks or other civic engagement opportunities, please contact Steven Carda, National Voting Rights Act and Voter Outreach Program Manager, by phone at 916-695-1570 or by e-mail at Steven.Carda@sos.ca.gov, or Jason Spencer, Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, by phone at 916-319-0521 or by e-mail at JaSpencer@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Alex Padilla
Secretary of State

AP/TT:ko
2017-02549

Last Reviewed: Friday, April 7, 2017

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