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San Mateo County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder-Elections
Shape the Future. Vote!

Official Election Site of San Mateo County

MARK CHURCH, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Youth Vote


youth vote


Pre-Registration: Know Your Rights

If you are 16 or 17 years old and meet all other voter eligibility requirements, you can pre-register to vote today. Simply complete the online pre-registration application and on your 18th birthday you will automatically be registered to vote. If you want to update your address or political party preference, simply re-register.


26th Amendment: Know Your History


  • The 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971 and gave 18-20 year-olds the right to vote.

  • The 26th Amendment stemmed from the expressed resentment of youth that they were old enough to serve in Vietnam but not old enough to have a say about the elected officials that sent them there.  

  • The 26th Amendment experienced the fastest ratification in history, and granted the right to vote in all elections to 11 and a half million 18-20 year olds.

  • The 1972 Election was the first Presidential election in which 18 year olds could vote and 55% of 18-24 year old eligible voters cast ballots.

Text of the 26th Amendment:


Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.


Section 2.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


young VoterYouth Turnout: Do Your Part


  • Nationally, youth (18-29 years old) turnout was 41% in 2000, 48% in 2004, 52% in 2008, 49% in 2012, and 50% in 2016.

  • California used to be one of the leaders in youth voting --- 63% in 1972 ranked us 5th in the country, after Idaho (65%), Iowa (65%), Minnesota (64%), and Utah (70%).

  • Substantially fewer youth vote in nonpresidential election years, compared with presidential election years. Seventeen percent of youth voted in the 2002, nonpresidential election years, whereas 42 percent voted in the 2004 presidential election year.

Other Links:





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Registration & Elections Division
40 Tower Road, San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: (650) 312-5222
Fax: (650) 312-5348
Email: registrar@smcare.org


Assistance for Voters with Disabilities:

Dial 711 For Telecommunications Relay Service
Phone: 1 (888) 762-8683
Language Assistance
Phone: 1 (888) 762-8683 or 1 (888) SMC-VOTE