Sacramento, CA — California’s Secretary of State and the nation’s largest postsecondary education system are teaming up to help grow the youth voter base.
On Monday Sec. Alex Padilla officially announced a resolution recently passed by the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board of Governors. It allows them to effectively roll out a joint nonpartisan effort between the CCC system and his office, geared to greatly increase voter awareness, registration and participation from the state’s next generation of voters.
Dubbed the California Students Vote Project, plans call for providing each of the CCC’s 72 districts and 113 colleges, including the Mother Lode’s own Columbia College, with current student registration metrics and a best practices memo of understanding. The MOU supports student voter outreach goals and each college is being encouraged to sign on in support.
Padilla shares, “This effort has been a long time in the making and is an exciting first step, but the real work is about to begin. I look forward to working with each California community college campus to ensure best practices are adopted, they receive the support they need from my office, and together, we finally close the voting gap.”
His office reports that only 52 percent of eligible youth 18 to 24 were registered to vote in the 2014 General Election and that only eight percent actually cast a ballot.
Of the state’s 2.8 million public college and university students, less than 8,500 — or about one-third of one percent registered through online means available through their educational institution. The MOU includes a webpage hosted by Padilla’s office designed to support student voter information and related activities.