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March 22, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Secretary of State Debra Bowen Marks
Anniversary of 18 Year-Olds Winning the Right to
Vote and Urges Schools to Sign-Up for Mock Election

SACRAMENTO - On the eve of the 41st anniversary of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson invited schools to sign-up for this fall's MyVote California Student Mock Election, offering students the first-hand training they will need once they turn 18 and become eligible to vote.

"Thanks to this 41-year-old amendment, some high schoolers will be eligible to vote in the November election and millions more will be voting before they know it," said Secretary Bowen, California's chief elections officer. "The mock election helps prepare thousands of young people for a lifetime of voting."

"On this anniversary, I urge schools to sign-up for the MyVote California Student Mock Election which prepares our students to make voting a habit for years to come," said Superintendent Torlakson.

The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, was approved by Congress on March 23, 1971, ratified by the states in the following months and was signed into law in July of that year.

On October 30, 2012, Students from hundreds of high school and middle school campuses throughout California will vote on mock ballots for some of the same candidates and issues the state's voters will vote on a week later. After the mock election, their votes will be tallied and students can compare their choices with those of other schools and then to the outcome of the presidential election.

In 2010, 650 schools statewide registered more than 375,000 students to take part in a mock election for governor and other key races. For more information about the MyVote California Student Mock Election, including teacher resources and prior-year results, visit