SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Teens have been encouraged to register to vote even before they are at the legal age of 18 to make sure they are ready when the time comes.
It's part of an outreach effort statewide and classes of students at Dos Pueblos High heard about it today.
"I just want to urge you to figure out your own process, your decision making process and vote," said Sarah Gore Maiani. She spent the day with students talking about the importance of voting and also life in the White House when her dad Al Gore was the Vice President.
"I tried to do a presentation that would get their attention and give them a different perspective .and also walk them through the steps to register to vote," said Maiani.
One student found the process fascinating and even said he might want to join the election's team.
Elisha Orrantia also said hearing from Maiani about politics was encouraging. "I was surprised to see a picture with her dad and the president and I was like wow that was really interesting," he said. Maiani said she enjoys the outreach effort through the League of Women Voters and similar other organizations.
. The students under the legal voting age of 18 can now register, and they will be notified on their 18th birthday that they are in the system and can then vote. The program won state approval and is one of the ways election's officials are trying to bolster the registration numbers and the turnout.
County clerk-Recorder, Assessor Joe Holland said, "this was a very engaged group. Pretty much every student in this class registered to vote and I think they are going to vote."
One student said between this presentation and social media she is hearing about voting often.
Gabrille Diaz filled out forms in the classroom and said, "yea they make it easier such as meetings like these to preregister. There's also a lot of campaigns to get teenagers to vote as well, I have seen them around the internet." Diaz plans to do her own outreach. "I am going to encourage all my friends to vote of course, because we need people to vote."
Maiani says on line "I have SBCVOTE.com is the one for Santa Barbara county and also Rock the Vote is an easy one to find out how to vote in any state."
Students were given instructions, then ballots to look at, and they were able to practice voting by marking a ballot. Afterwards they ran them through an official election machine which produced a printout of results.
Those who still want to vote can register at this point and up to election day, but they will have to do it in person at an election office and they will be given a provisional ballot. The election staff will give it a special review. "When you cast a provisional ballot, what we will do is we will double check to see that you didn't vote anywhere else in the State of California. If that is the case and if that is the only ballot we have , hen we will go ahead and count that." said Holland.
In Santa Barbara County there are 203 thousand registered voters, for the June primary, 67 percent of them have requested vote by mail ballots.
For more information go to : SBCVote.org