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California Secretary Of State Urges San Diego Students To Vote

Above: San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla pose for a photo with San Diego State University students, Feb. 3, 2016.

Aired 2/4/16 on KPBS Midday Edition.

California Secretary Of State Urges San Diego Students To Vote

GUEST:

Alex Padilla, California secretary of state

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla visited San Diego State University Wednesday to address a stubborn problem: low voter turnout among college students.

Special Feature California Counts

California Counts is a collaboration of KPBS, KPCC, KQED and Capital Public Radio to report on the 2016 election. The coverage focuses on major issues and solicits diverse voices on what's important to the future of California.

In the 2014 general election, turnout among registered voters on campus and in the precincts directly adjacent to SDSU was about 6 percent.

Padilla told the school's student government that boosting turnout can be done. He said students mobilized to help pass 2012's Proposition 30 initiative to increase education funding in California.

"It should be the perfect case study for when young people get involved and participate, what a difference you can make," Padilla said.

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu was also on hand at the meeting. He said his office received 2,000 provisional ballots from college students who went to the polls but were not registered.

"So we know you're mindful of the election," Vu said. "We know you're engaged."

A statewide online voter database rolling out in June could help students with that common snag. Californians will be able to check whether they're registered, where they're registered and track provisional ballots.

Padilla also urged students to turn to the internet for the age-old strategy of word-of-mouth.

"We have our Facebook friends and our Twitter followers and everything else. So being that voice is No. 1," Padilla said.

The deadline to register for the June primary is May 23.

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