Vote for your future, your voice matters

Voting allows your voice to be heard. It is important for all of us to have a say in issues that directly impact our lives, from human rights, education and health care, to the environment and our economy. 

Those who live in the United States have the privilege of democracy, whereas in many other countries, citizens lack this human right.

“If you want power, you have to vote,” said Jerry Fenning, who works with the Pomona Valley branch of the NAACP on civic collegiate engagement. “If you don’t vote you don’t have power.”

This year is a critical presidential election year, beginning with the California primary elections on March 5. The General Election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5. 

Although the deadline to register to vote in the state Primary, Feb. 20, has passed. Those who missed the deadline will still be able to vote under the Conditional Voter Registration law, either remotely, or in person at Voting Centers, which open across the state on Feb. 24.

The Conditional Voter Registration Law allows voters to go to any vote center in the County during the 11 day voting period. Voters with disabilities and military and overseas voters can complete a conditional voter registration and provisional ballot remotely. 

Provisional ballots will be processed and counted once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process.

Primary elections give voters the opportunity to decide who the candidates in the general election should be. 

The March 5 election will also allow California voters to consider important state ballot measures.

One of those is Proposition 1, a behavioral health services program and bond measure, that would authorize $6.38 billion in bonds to build mental health treatment facilities for people with mental health and substance abuse issues.

La Verne political science professor Richard Gelm said that implementing the mental health treatment facilities is consequential to everybody who lives in California.

According to the Office of Policy Development and Research in the Point-In-Time count and Housing Inventory Count conducted in January 2022 said that roughly 30% of the nations’ homeless population residing in this state

Also on the March 5 ballot are state and federal assembly races. 

Rep. Grace Napolitano’s retirement announced in July 2023, the primary Election will have options to choose the top two to run in November. 

The Democratic candidates to replace Napolitano in the 31st district are Kurt Villarba Jose, Susan Rubio, Gil Cisneros, Mary Ann Lutz, Bob Archuleta, Greg Hafif. The Republican candidates are Daniel Jose Bocic Martinez and Pedro Antonia Casas. The candidates with no party are Erskine Levi and Yana Marie Manvel.

There will be two separate elections for the U.S. Senate race in California to replace Dianne Feinstein. One will choose who will serve out the term ending in January 2025 and the second election will decide who will fill the seat for six years. The Democratic candidates are Babara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff and the Republican candidates are Eric Early and Steve Garvey. 

The University in partnership with the Andrew Goodman Foundation set up on the Office of Civic and Community Engagement’s website resources for not only students but community members for the 2024 elections. 

Ballotpedia, a nonprofit online political encyclopedia, is a great resource to get information about federal, state, and local politics, elections, and public policy in the United States. It offers information on various elections occurring in 2024 along with a sample ballot lookup tool to research what is going to be on the ballot in your area. 

The University of La Verne will have a voting center in the Abraham Campus Center open for early voting on March 2-4 from a.m. to 7 p.m. and March 5 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The University of La Verne and the city of La Verne have pages on their website that provide 2024 election information to the community:

According to the United State Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement, 28.4% of youth ages 18 to 24 casted a ballot in 2022. As voter turnout tends to be the lowest among college-age students, let’s change this trend by getting out and voting on March 5. 

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

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