Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:
High School Voter Education Weeks (September 16–27, 2019)
As we approach the 2020 Presidential Primary Election next March, 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 our students to get involved. That is why we strongly encourage your school to participate in High School Voter Education Weeks on September 16–27 to put our young people on the path to a lifetime of civic engagement and voting.
California Education Code designates the last two weeks of September as High School Voter Education Weeks and authorizes schools to designate students as voter outreach coordinators.
It is now easier than ever to get sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds civically engaged through pre-registration. Once pre-registered, they will automatically become active voters on their eighteenth birthday.
As you know, pre-registration for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds has been a huge success in California, with close to 400,000 pre-registrations since the program launched in September 2016.
The Secretary of State’s office can provide resources, and county elections officials can serve as partners to make it easy for schools to participate. Teachers can help eligible students pre-register or register to vote either through a paper form or online. Voter outreach coordinators can lead registration drives and other school activities aimed at civic participation.
Here are some ideas and resources to get you started:
- To learn more about pre-registration in California, please visit: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/high-school-programs/#prereg.
- Encourage eligible students to visit https://registertovote.ca.gov/ to register orpre-register to vote.Set up voter registration terminals in the school library or at large school events.
- Inform students how they can participate in the electoral process firsthand—and get paid—by serving as poll workers on Election Day. Please visit the California Secretary of State web page at http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/pdfs/student-poll-worker-flyer.pdf for additional information.
- Urge administrators, students, and parents to visit the new https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/high-school-programs/ portal, which includes important information about voter registration and pre-registration, the Student Mock Election, the Student Poll Worker program, and High School Voter Education Weeks.
- Review the California Secretary of State’s High School Voter Education Weeks web page, which provides an opportunity for high schools and students to partner with county elections officials to promote civic education and participation on campus and foster an environment that cultivates lifelong voters and active citizens: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voting-california/help-strengthen-our-democracy/high-school-voter-education-weeks.
By 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 2020 and beyond.
If you have any questions about High School Voter Education Weeks or other civic engagement opportunities, please feel free to contact Paige Kent, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, Elections Division, California Secretary of State, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pete Callas, Education Administrator, High School Innovations and Initiatives Office, California Department of Education, at 916-319-0669 or email@example.com.
California Secretary of State
State Superintendent of Public Instruction