Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Don't Miss High School Voter Education Weeks!

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
August 17, 2017

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


As we encounter local elections around the state in 2017 and prepare for the 2018 gubernatorial elections, 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 September 18–29 to put your students on the path to a lifetime of civic engagement and voting.  And now with online pre-registration available for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds, it’s easier than ever to get students prepared to cast their own ballots. Once pre-registered, they will automatically become active voters on their 18th birthday. 

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 pre-register or 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 make High School Voter Education Weeks just the start of your school’s civic engagement activities this year. 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 feel free to contact Steven Carda, National Voter Registration Act and Voter Outreach Program Manager, by phone at 916-695-1570 or by email at, or Jason Spencer, Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, by phone at 916-319-0521 or by email at  


Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction


Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Recently Posted in Editorials & Letters