In 2013, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) proposed a bill to allow teens aged 16 and 17 to preregister to vote in order to promote registration and involvement in the political system. This bill, SB 113, was signed into law and enacted in 2014, and is now part of the California Elections Code §2102(2)(d).
Just last week, Sam Mahood, a spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Padilla, posted on twitter the results for an 18-month study on preregistrations under the new Elections Code.
The results demonstrate a trend among young voters- almost 44% of preregistrations listed ‘No Party Preference’ with about 37% selecting ‘Democrat’ and 10% as ‘Republican’.
Preregistrations have increased in numbers over the past years. Padilla attributed some of the uptick in preregistration to current events, such as the Parkland, Florida shooting.
“The shooting has high school students very active, aware and engaged,” he said. “We’ve seen the numbers go up even recently.”
Whether this increase in registration and lack of party affiliation will continue will be followed over future years.