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California Votes 2020: What You Need to Know

Don't die! Please vote! (Yes, it will be hard.) A friend and I have a random on-going conversation about our ideal "elevator speech." (If you don't know what an "elevator speech" is it is corporate speak for the 2 minute version of a 2 hour presentation. How would you boil down the big presentation topic to a quick 2 minute elevator chat?) My ideal political elevator speech for 2020 is Don't Die! Please Vote! (Yes, the process may be really weird this year.)

If you are reading this I assume you are at least interested in Republican politics. The big question I have for you is... are you a voter? Did you vote in 2016? Do you want to vote in 2020?

This probably seems weird... but a lot of conservatives in California don't vote. Some don't vote because they don't think it matters --this is California after all.... (If you want the break-down on what people waaaaayyyy more hooked into the nuts and bolts of the get-out-the-vote-process than this Amateur Republican is just read Craig Huey's interesting blog. He's an expert, I'm your basic low level volunteer. Doing too much, not enough time, never any budget, you get the picture.)

Republicans haven't really mattered on a statewide basis in my adult lifetime. (But they should. They could. And really.... even if California doesn't go red wouldn't it be great if your local schoolboard had a few people slightly to the right of Bernie Sanders?) A lot of conservatives and Republicans and just normal well meaning Californians don't think their votes count. Guess what! Your vote counts! (But we need you to actually vote to get it counted!) So please.... this is my elevator speech. The quick basics in a year when nothing feels basic...

Make sure you are registered to vote! And... vote! Because it matters.

The Details. Please, if you care about the election... do this even if you do nothing else! (And please... share it with your friends!)

REGISTERING TO VOTE! Are you registered to vote? Do you want to be registered to vote? Are you a legal California resident? Are you a citizen? If you answered yes to the first question you can ignore this link. If you are not registered to vote but you are a citizen and a legal California resident and want to be registered to vote click here. You can register to vote online. (You can NOT vote online, but you can register online.) To save time and anxiety I highly recommend registering sooner rather than later. You can use this link to register to vote until 15 days before the election. Basically this link is (currently) valid until October 15th. If it is past October 15th and you still haven’t registered to vote you can do “same day voter registration” . (Same day registration may or may not turn into an utter nightmare. It is slow, tedious… and if the paperwork is done wrong you can go through the process of voting but maybe not get your vote counted. So please…. register as early as possible.) If for some reason you don’t know if you are registered to vote but you think you may be you can use the State of California’s website to check your voter registration status.

So,.. please, believe in America, cherish your part in the American political process. Vote. Take a few minutes or a few hours and make the effort and vote. Tell your friends. Share in the process. Vote the downballot races too... Be an engaged citizen.

At heart, for me, that is what the American political experience is really all about. Not wins and losses. Not playing games. Being an engaged citizen. Being a voter. Doing the best you can and hoping for the best. Because I have a lot of hope for our magnificent Republic. And a lot of love for this country we call home. America is special. Our political process is special. (In California it is also often spectacularly crazy as well as, ahem, “special.”) And, as a citizen we all have roles to play. And voting isn’t that hard. We can do this. And we cannot afford to pretend ballot harvesting, vote harvesting and whatever aren’t happening. They are. This election is on. I truly believe if we stay engaged we can win this. But… you have to have hope, you have to have heart, and you have to make an effort. America is worth the effort. So is the Golden State. No matter how tarnished the California dream may be, it is still worth fighting for. Still worth making an effort for. So… get out there and get ready to vote! We only have two months to win it or lose it.

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