More than 100,000 teenagers have pre-registered to vote in California as part of a statewide program targeting 16- and 17-year-olds to sign up, with a sharp increase in registrations in wake of the Parkland school shooting and the student-led March for Our Lives movement.
“This is a big milestone,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Friday, according to the LA Times. “I’m optimistic it’s going to translate into action at the ballot box.”
While the voter pre-registration program started in the fall of 2016, more than 10 percent of the sign-ups have acquired in the last few weeks, coinciding with the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. and across the country and world. The movement has focused on calling for gun control and political activism, holding “The Town Halls for Our Lives” while targeting pro-gun lawmakers at the polls.
“The impact of recent events is undeniable,” Padilla said, according to the Times. “It’s absolutely served as a motivator for young people to pay more attention.”
The Hill added:
At least 4,000 people reportedly registered to vote during March for Our Lives events last month.
Most of the teenagers who have pre-registered to vote did so as unaffiliated, non-party voters, while about 38 percent pre-registered as Democrats and 10 percent as Republicans. The state will automatically activate participants’ voter registration on the day they turn 18.