As the countless Ted Cruz memes and “Birdie Sanders” Vines have already indicated, it’s election season in America.
If you’ve ever retweeted a “Bernie or Hillary?” meme or liked a picture of Donald Trump’s hair juxtaposed against a corn husk, chances are you are one of the many teenagers who find pure fun in this presidential election mayhem. However, what many teens fail to realize is that they play a much larger role in the election than simply sharing comedic posts on social media.
According to the United States Census Bureau, millennials make up more than 25 percent of the nation’s population, outnumbering the baby boomer generation by 7.7 million people. We are also the most diverse generation with 44.2 percent of millennials belonging to a minority race group.
We are the generation that is going to shape America’s future, and the topics being discussed on the political front (college education, the environment, minimum wage, etc.) will have a significant effect on us now, if not in the near future.
The youth vote matters now more than ever and plays a crucial role in the upcoming presidential election, which is why I have compiled a list of information California teens should know before exercising their right to vote:
1) Who can vote? Anyone who is a United States citizen and at least 18 years old can
vote. If you are currently 17 years old but will turn 18 by Election Day, you can also vote.
2) How do I register to vote? Thanks to the internet, registering to vote is super easy! Simply register online here: http://registertovote.ca.gov/ (link works best on desktop). Californians must register by May 23 in order to vote in the California Primary.
3) When can I vote? Election Day is Nov. 8. However, California residents have their first opportunity to vote on June 7 for the California Primary.
4) What is the California Primary? The CA Primary allows Californians to vote for their favorite candidate in either the Democratic or Republican party. The winner of each party will receive a set number of delegates that will help determine the final candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election.
5) How can I vote in the California Primary? California hosts a semi-closed primary, which means you must be registered as a Democrat, Republican, or No Party Preference in order to vote (please note: Independents are not allowed to vote in this primary). Once registered, you can either vote in-person on June 7 at your local polling place, or vote early by mail by filling out this form: Vote-By-Mail Application
6) How can I vote in the General Election? Once you are a registered voter, you may choose to vote in person on Nov. 8 at your local polling place, or vote early by mail by filling out this form: Vote-By-Mail Application
Happy voting! And for more information on where and how to vote in California go here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/where-and-how