A new measure was signed between California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and the University of California on September 13, 2016, that allows students to register to vote as they sign up for their semester classes.
This memorandum is used to increase the awareness of deadlines for voting by submitting notifications through campus emails and through the registration process.
The purpose for this is to increase the voter turnout for young adults, since it is currently very low. Only 8% of people ages 18-24 voted in this midterm election.
Some students find this new measurement to be very beneficial. Justin Boyer, former student at Fullerton College, agrees with this decision.
“I think this is a great idea because it makes it easier for students to get involved in the democratic process,” Boyer said.
On the other hand, others believe this government enforced voting isn’t a great idea to push towards the younger audience.
Other ways of government enforced voting have already been put into place. Governor Jerry Brown already approved a measure in 2015 to make automatic voter registration occur at the DMV to any eligible Californian registering for a driver’s license. This went into effect Jan. 1 of this year.
“The New Motor Voter Act will make our democracy stronger by removing a key barrier to voting,” Padilla said.
However, there is negative feedback on this act. Former political science teacher Barbara Arczynski, doesn’t agree with this enforced measure.
“I believe that no one should be automatically registered to vote by any arm of government,” Arczynski said. “I believe that the decision to register must be a conscious one. It is best if registration to vote be a deliberate act, and not a convenience. Even online voting is more acceptable, but I’m fairly certain that we would not want to risk false identity registrations.”
Brown also signed a bill allowing conditional registration and provisional voting at satellite locations offered by county election officials to occur 14 days after this election.
Further information regarding Padilla’s strategy for voter registration while signing up for classes is still to be determined.