California Secretary of State Encourages the Youth to Vote

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With Election Day less than two weeks away, a big voting block is kicking it into high gear -- the young vote.

California Secretary of State stormed through San Jose Thursday, giving young voters the tools they need to make their voices heard.

Alex Padilla took his message to 650 girls at Norte Dame High School.

“You are so much more powerful than you realize, if you seize it. It begins if you’re registering and voting,” said Alex Padilla to 650 girls at Norte Dame High School.

In California, 16 and 17-year-olds can pre-register to vote so that when they turn 18, they’ll already be on the rolls.

Half a million have already done it in California and Padilla signed up dozens more on campus as part of the push to get more young voters engaged.

“This unknown political power of this next generation is more than you can imagine,” Padilla said. “The young block of 18 to 29-year-olds , and 16 and 17 now, represent the biggest voting block in America.”

At San Jose State University, Padilla was joined by Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo in opening a new vote center. Students will be able to vote there and have access to election information.

“When you have a place like this, there’s no excuse,” said student Kiley Staufenbeil. “Just come on over, you’re on your way to the library anyway. Stop in, vote, do your thing.”

Since taking office, the secretary of state says he’s visited more than 85 schools, trying to show young voters the kind of power they can have.

Election Day is March 3 but this year, you can register on that day and your vote will still count.  

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