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Why COVID-19 Threatens Student Votes in California

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The pandemic threatens to scatter students away from campuses in the fall, when California will mail a ballot to every registered voter as a COVID-19-safe alternative to voting in person. The closures could discourage the efforts of campus groups, and make the prospects of turning out the college vote, already a difficult proposition in normal times, even more complicated.

In 2018, voter engagement surged at Cal State Fullerton, with the voting rate increasing by nearly a third over the previous mid-term election. The 2,627 CSU Fullerton students who registered to vote marked the second-highest total of any public school in the state.

Now student advocates are taking creative approaches to encourage voting, especially in the districts stretching north from Orange County, through Fullerton and La Habra, to the Los Angeles County cities of Diamond Bar and Pomona. The November ballot will settle the regional rematch of Democratic Congressman Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda) and Republican Young Kim, the former state Assemblywoman who lost to Cisneros by fewer than 8,000 votes in 2018. Continue reading on KQED