SACRAMENTO — California would let 16-year-olds pre-register to vote under a bill approved by the state Senate, although they still would have to wait until age 18 to cast their first ballot.
SB113 heads to the Assembly after it was approved Tuesday 24-8.
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara says California has one of the nation’s lowest voter registration rates.
She says a study of similar laws in Florida and Hawaii demonstrates that pre-registration encourages young people to vote once they are eligible and makes it more likely they will become lifelong voters.
Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine says the legislation could create headaches for local election officials who would have to track teen registration records and lead to disappoint if teenagers change addresses and don’t realize they must re-register.