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Groups Push To Increase California Voter Turnout

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Lydia Harris, a temporary worker at the Sacramento Registrar of Voters, looks over a mail-in ballot before it is sent to be counted in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday Nov. 12, 2014.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Elected officials and advocacy groups across California are making a push this week to register voters, after record-low turnout last year. Much of the focus is on Latino, Asian and young voters.

Less than 20 percent of California's eligible Latino and Asian voters went to the polls last November. That's half the rate of everyone else. For 18- to 24-year-olds, it was even worse.

“Only 8.2 percent actually voted," says Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis.

Romero says voter turnout is largely driven by candidates and their campaigns.

“And all of their resources and strategies are about getting the folks that they think will vote for them," Romero says. "That means there are a lot of folks that don’t get much or any mobilization.”

Creating a vicious cycle when they do not show up, Romero says. That’s why the Secretary of State, other elected officials, and advocacy groups are specifically targeting those voters at school and community events this week.