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Now more than ever, your vote counts

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Despite the overwhelming conditions of the pandemic making it difficult to focus on other issues, it is still important to use our voices and our votes in a year that will have great influence on everyone’s future.

Election day is on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and all of California’s voters who register by Oct. 19 will be receiving a ballot through mail by that date. Those who wish to vote online also have to be registered by Oct. 19.

Polls will still be available on Election day for citizens to place their ballots in person with the continued implementation of social distancing guidelines and restrictions per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

To register to vote, you must be a U.S citizen, California resident and be at least 18 years of age. California offers registration by mail, in person or online. You can obtain the California voter registration form at your local library, Post Office or Department of Motor Vehicles office and it must be postmarked by Oct. 19. 

To register online, you will need to visit the RegisterToVote.ca.gov page and provide your California-issued driver’s license or ID, the last four digits of your Social Security number and consent to the use of your DMV-stored digital signature to use California’s online voter registration system. When registering in person, you would fill out the voter registration form and hand deliver it to your county elections official.

Before rushing to the polls, the CDC advises to wear a mask or cloth face covering, wash your hands before and after entering the polling place and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet between you and others at all times. Online voting is available for all California voters as a safer alternative form of voting. 

Increasing voter turnout is a win for everyone, not just the candidates. By voting, we are demonstrating our representation in the election process and creating tighter communities with more accurate depictions of the candidates we need in our national and local political seats. We must remember that voting for a candidate does not mean we are voting for only one individual. Our votes also dictate new policies, laws and changes we want to see in health care, equal opportunity, education, immigration and jobs.

It is also important to remember that voting in this election is not just about choosing a president. There are all sorts of races to be decided on the national, state and local levels. This is our chance to choose our Congressional representatives, State Assembly members and city council members. There are also a number of important propositions that have the potential of directly affecting our lives on a daily basis.

Don’t let others decide how your family and life will be affected by the elected officials. Now more than ever, your voice matters. Take a stand and vote for the changes you want to see now.

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