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Government & Politics

Youth Voting Rate Going Up, But Still Lagging

The number of young Californians who are registered to vote is going up – but the percentage of youth registered voters still lags well behind the population as a whole. That’s according to a new UC Davis study out Wednesday.

Author Mindy Romero says there’s been a 25-percent increase in youths registered to vote from 2002 to 2010. “We believe just it’s been a product of national trends as well as trends within California that’s focused on getting out the youth vote.”

Sacramento and Bay Area youths have higher registration rates according to the study. The San Joaquin Valley, San Diego and North State have lower rates.

The state has programs designed to get more young people to vote. But Romero says the lack of consistency in those programs and barriers in the voter registration system have kept the youth voting rate below that of the general population.

She says new programs like online and same-day voter registration will help close that gap.