Register for a diploma

Assemblyman Joe Coto, D-San Jose, wants to require graduating seniors in California to register to vote in order to qualify for a public high school diploma. Under the measure, would-be graduates who are eligible to vote would have to submit proof of registration or a letter requesting an exemption. Coto is a retired school superintendent.

It’s assumed a majority of new registrants would vote as Democrats, so Republicans aren’t keen on the idea. Given the school-age population, many would be Mexican-American thereby increasing Hispanic clout. (Presumbly non-citizens would have to identify themselves as such, which would make immigration advocates nervous.) I very much doubt the law would create a new voting bloc. Young people too apathetic to register without the requirement aren’t likely to turn into motivated voters.

The requirement isn’t onerous but it is superfluous. Schools can invite registrars on campus to sign up students and hand out registration postcards to those who aren’t 18 yet. And teach civics.

About Joanne


  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    But they don’t want recruiters on campus?

  2. wayne martin says:

    I wonder if this guy (Coto, D) believes that kids should have to pass an exit exam in order to get a high school diploma?

    And what about illegal aliens? Does this guy propose that illegal aliens be allowed to vote by virtue of the register-to-vote-in- order-to-graduate-from-high-school idea of his?

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    The 18 year old vote was one of the quickest passed ammendments, and was pushed because they thought all the 18 year olds would vote democrat. Thankfully most of them didn’t vote.

  4. Catch Thirty Thr33 says:

    I have to chuckle reading this.
    I registered to vote before I got a driver’s license, and I didn’t wait very long after I turned 18 to do it. Later that spring, as I was getting showered with nauseating praise by people who were acting as if my getting my high school diploma was the equivalent of winning a Nobel Prize, I got a silly form letter from some state Senator who positively gushed over my graduation from high school, and exhorted me to become a registered voter.
    He didn’t appreciate the letter that went back to him indicating I thought he was wasting his time by recognizing my (snicker) “achievement”, and more importantly, state money. Not to mention that since at that time jury duty pools were formed my voter registration rolls, he could have looked up my name on that list to see if I had become a registered voter.

  5. mike from oregon says:

    Another FORCED requirement by the government – remember this is a free country. If the kid isn’t interested enough to register himself then why should we force it. Nothing worse than an uninformed, uninterested voter.

    Next thing will be that to get something else from the government (tax forms, drivers license) you will be FORCED to show that you DID vote.

    I want people to vote, but I want them to WANT and CARE about voting and about their vote. This is just another idea from the democrats to get as many informed voters as possible to (hopefully and probably) vote for democrat candidates and policies.

  6. Cardinal Fang says:

    What about the non-citizens? Not just the undocumented kids, but the kids who are here legally, but aren’t American citizens? I don’t see why high schools should be in the business of evaluating their students’ immigration status, but they would have to if this proposal were adopted.

    And what about kids who aren’t 18 yet?

  7. Bill Leonard says:

    Ah, yes, another moonbat idea from a member of the California state legislature!

    I have an alternative idea for the likes of Coto and Sally Lieber (the non-parent legislator who wants to pass a law making it a misdemeanor to spank a child): how about some show of training, education, competence, anything to show proof of ability to be a public official? In California, you need a state license to paint fingernails for money, yet any fool can run for office — and a fair number seem to get elected.