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To cultivate civic engagement in younger citizens, students aged 16-17 are encouraged to pre-register to vote, making them automatically eligible to vote upon their 18th birthday. State officials say registering youth in advance has proven successful in fostering an environment that cultivates lifelong voters and active citizens.

As parents, this provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with your child about the importance of civic engagement. Emphasize the importance of pre-registering to vote as a proactive measure toward engaging in the democratic process. By stressing the significance of being well-informed and exercising their right to vote, you can empower them to play an active role in shaping the future of their community and country.

Pre-registering does not change the legal age for voting, which remains 18, but rather provides time for the registration to be processed and for the student to be better prepared to vote. To pre-register, students must be 16 or 17 years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of California.

Students who meet the requirements can pre-register online at any time.