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US NEWS ELN-ELECTION 93 SA.jpgDemocratic state Sen. Leland Yee is looking to bolster the youth vote with legislation to establish more polling places on California's college and university campuses.

Senate Bill 240 would require at least one polling place on each University of California and California State University campus and seek to expand the number of polling stations on community college campuses across the state.

While some campuses, including UC Davis, do serve as voting sites, the final decision of where to locate the voting stations is up to the county registrars. Yee said the bill is aimed at making it easier for the hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in the state's UC and CSU systems to vote.

"It is critical that students have their voices heard at the ballot box," the San Francisco Democrat said in a statement. "Not only is the cost of their education at stake, so is the economy and society they will inherit."

Yee, who is running for secretary of state in 2014, authored another piece of legislation that helped Democrats court youth voters last year by launching the state's new online voter registration system in time for the general election. Nearly two-thirds of the roughly 800,000 voters who used the new system were between the ages of 18 and 29, according to Political Data Inc., a nonpartisan firm that collects and analyzes voter information.

California college students were initially given much credit for the passage of Proposition 30 and other Democratic victories on the November ballot, as exit polls predicted higher than usual turnout among young voters. But the final vote numbers showed less of a surge. Voters 18 to 29 made up about 15 percent of the state's electorate in 2012, according to Political Data's numbers, compared to 17 percent in 2008.

PHOTO CREDIT: UC Davis students line up to vote Nov. 6, 2012, at a polling place set up in the Memorial Union on campus. Autumn Payne / Sacramento Bee.



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