Youth and Government Steering Committee members (l to r, Berkeley High students Melina Fike, Ruby Wilks, LWVBAE President Adena Ishii, Kyla Dangerfield, and Simelia Rogers) pose after the kick-off organizational meeting Oct. 15 of the Berkeley Vote16 campaign at the Sports Basement on 2727 Milvia. Vote16 plans to promote the voting of 16 and 17 year olds for Berkeley Unified School District Board members. This was mandated by passage of a ballot initiative in Nov. 2016. The City of Berkeley is one of only three municipalities in the country where such a ballot initiative passed to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote on Nov. 6, 2018.
About two dozen attendees heard how the Steering Committee spearheaded the successful ballot initiative by lobbying state legislators and Berkeley residents. They heard about what is motivating campaign rank and file to commit to coming voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. And they heard enthusiastic expressions of support from older advisors and LWVBAE members at the meeting. Campaign efforts will include voter registration tabling on the BHS campus with support from BHS teachers. The Steering Committee was also assured by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters that 16 and 17 year olds voting only for School Board members would not require the printing of a separate ballot. These young students would use a standard ballot but only the vote for School Board members on their ballots would be tallied.
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