First Time Voters: Resources And Tips

Heather Raposo, Reporter/Photographer

Voting can seem very overwhelming. You may have plenty of opinions coming at you between friends, family, and media, so where should you start? Here are some resources and information to help you, along with a step by step guide. 1. Register 2. Review 3. Vote. 4. Done

It’s important to remember that the Presidency is not the only vote you will make. You will also vote in the state and local elections. The guides come in the mail separately, (state and county) but once you receive your official ballot, you will vote for federal, state, and county on one ballot. 

 Here is a quick step guide to get you started:

1. REGISTER: Make sure you are registered to vote before October 19th. Registering here will include you on both the federal, state, and local election. 

2. REVIEW: After you register you will receive the Official Voter Information Guide. You can download Candidate Guide here and the Proposition Guide here.

Read the guides. It’s highly recommended that you review and study your Voter Information Guide. This will give you unbiased information for each proposition (known as “prop” and the measure number, example Prop 14) that will be on the 2020 California/County Ballot. The guide is set up to give you an overview, with pros and cons.

Remember this is YOUR VOTE educate yourself, but also choose yes or no for each prop based on what makes sense for your life and viewpoints while considering the community and the state population.

It’s recommended that you circle or mark what your choice is in your voter guide, this is your guide to mark up, highlight, or take notes, as you need.

Educating the vote. (Heather Raposo)

Once you receive your ballot you can easily mark your vote for each elected official and proposition, based on your review and notes in your guide.

3. VOTE: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Executive Order N-64-20 states that all California voters will receive their ballot by mail, once registered you do not need to apply for vote-by-mail. You will receive one ballot (2 pages); this is where you will vote.

Mark each choice by filling in the bubble with your vote using a black or blue pen (review both pages, front and back). Fold up both pages and insert them in the included envelope, seal it and drop it in the mail by November 3rd (no postage is needed) or return to a local polling station –location information provided with ballot

 4. DONE: Wear your “I Voted” sticker with pride. You have now made a vital contribution to our county, state, and country.

 Extra Resources: It’s important to have unbiased sources in your back pocket. Unbiased means that the website, company, or owner is not pushing an opinion or attempting to sway how you vote. Here is a list of a few more helpful sites: 

https://www.rockthevote.org/how-to-vote/voting-faqs/

https://www.vote411.org/california#candidate-and-ballot-measure-information

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election-2020

https://www.healthyvoting.org/california/

https://2020election.procon.org/view.source-summary-chart.php

Are you registered to vote? Is this your first year voting? Let us know.