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.