How to Pre-Register to Vote

Jenesis Blancaflor was filled with satisfaction after taking just a few minutes to pre-register to vote. She said, “Since I am only 17, this made me feel confident that I was doing something important that my future 18-year-old self will thank me for!” If you’re under 18, make sure to pre-register to vote and encourage your friends to do the same!

Article & Picture By: Giovi Andreassi

With a major presidential election coming up, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of voting. Many people who are not 18 think that they can’t do anything to exercise their rights in this election. However, there is one thing you can do if you are 16 or 17 in California: pre-register to vote.

Pre-registering is a great way to get a headstart for when you will be eligible to vote. It also familiarizes you with the process of civic duty in elections. Once you pre-register, your registration will become active when you turn 18. So, how do you pre-register to vote?

The first thing you want to do is go to registertovote.ca.gov. Click the “Pre-Register to Vote” option. The process is quick, easy, and will save you time in the long run. 

The first step is to identify your citizenship. You will then fill in your name, age, email address, phone number, date and place of birth. There will be an ID option where you can put your California driver license number and/or social security number. If you don’t have either of these, you can check the box saying so. It will then ask for your political party preference, if you have one. Remember to do your research on parties; which party will align with your values and be prominent in election years?

Next, you will need to answer a series of simple yes or no questions about additional information/consent. The questions vary on topics from voting by mail preferences to poll worker volunteer options. You will then need to declare that you meet the requirements for pre-registration and that all your information is accurate. 

Lastly, the website will give you an overview of your questions and answers so you can double check all of the information. After that, click submit, and you will receive an email with your receipt. 

Many SRHS students eligible for pre-registration have taken advantage of this step for minors. Jenesis Blancaflor, a 17 year old senior, says, “Pre-registering to vote is a great idea not just because it is important for when I can vote, but it is also super quick and easy. It took only a few minutes and I felt that I was doing something of importance and exercising my rights.” 

Pre-registration gets you on track for your future and has the potential to boost voter turnout. After all, voting behavior is formed by habit. If you pre-register now, you are creating a habit of civic engagement and voting.

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