Here’s some good news on the voter front from California as conservatives still try to game the system and make it harder to vote. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) recently signed a bill into law that will introduce hundreds of thousands of new young registered voters each year, according to ThinkProgress.
The law is “the largest voter registration expansion that we’re aware of in our nation’s history,” according to Terry Schanz, the chief of staff to state Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D), who co-authored the bill. According to state lawmakers, this new law is expected to add 200,000 young voters each year.
As it currently stands under California law, the state Department of Motor vehicles has an opt-in process for voter registration. But starting on January 1, 2019, all teens who pass through the department will automatically be added to the system and able to vote once they turn 18.
This is a pretty big deal considering the comparatively low registration and voting rates from young people. A 2014 fact sheet by the California Civic Engagement Project at the University of California’s Center for Regional Change found that only 30 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2014 election and turnout was lowest for 18-24-year-olds: just 8.2 percent of eligible youth cast a ballot.