Goal of holiday and college Ballot Bowl: get more people registered to vote

Today is National Voter Registration Day—a reminder to eligible Californians not yet registered that they have until Oct. 22 to do so in order to vote in the Nov. 6 midterms. That election will determine the state’s new governor and other statewide officers, whom we send to Congress and the Legislature, and the fate of 11 ballot measures including whether Californians want to repeal the gas tax hike and expand rent control.

The holiday, endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State, claims to have spurred over 750,000 people nationwide to register to vote in 2016.

And to encourage more adult students to vote, the California Secretary of State is hosting the first ever Ballot Bowl. Community colleges, California State University campuses, University of California schools and private universities can compete to see which campus gets more students to register to vote in California.

Student leaders will storm resident halls today encouraging students to vote. Winners of the Ballot Bowl will be announced on Oct. 30.

“We’re trying to leverage the spirit of competition with school pride into civic engagement and voter registration,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “We need to remind students also about what’s at stake this November election”—issues such as college affordability, the economy and health care access.

“Regardless of what your priorities are, regardless of what your political leanings are, we know one thing: If you want to have a voice in the process, you have to register, and you have to vote. And not just in this election, but in every single election.”

Californian voters can register to vote here and check if they are already registered here. People can also register conditionally once the Oct. 22 deadline passes, but only at their county election office.

For more information on voting in California, check out the California Secretary of State’s website or our CALmatters FAQ sheet.

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