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California Secretary of State Alex Padilla held a rally at John W. North High School as part of a wider effort to encourage youth to pre-register or register to vote.
“Who is it that’s eligible but not registered? Who is it that’s registered but doesn’t vote every single time? It’s disproportionately working-class families, communities of color, and young people,” Padilla stated during his speech as he reached out to the North student body, which is nearly 75 percent socioeconomically disadvantaged.
The state has recently implemented a policy which allows teenagers that are 16 or 17 the ability to pre-register to vote. Once they turn 18, they will automatically be registered to vote.
This policy followed a presidential election wherein 55 percent of eligible millennial voters stayed at home, according to exit poll data.
The rally began with opening remarks by Riverside Unified School district President Brent Lee and student remarks by senior Cameron Allen.
Allen spoke on the importance of having the choice to vote.