By Emily Chang
What better way to celebrate the end of spring semester and kick off the start of summer than by participating in democracy? June 7 marks the day of California’s primary elections. In primary elections, registered voters will select candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, state executive offices such as governor and attorney general as well as many local offices. California has a top-two primary system in which the two candidates with the most votes will move on to the general election, which will occur Nov. 8.
Ballots will be mailed out beginning May 9. The last day to register to vote is May 23, so that ballots may be returned on or before June 7. All adult U.S. citizens who are residents of California can register to vote, either by completing an application online at registertovote.ca.gov or on paper through the County Elections Division or any Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Voter registration can also be done at in-person voting sites, which additionally provide replacement ballots, accessible voting machines and language assistance. Check recorder.countyofventura.org/elections/elections for a list of nearby vote center locations. California’s Secretary of State’s website, sos.ca.gov, is another great resource for information about the primaries and other upcoming elections in California.
Once you receive your ballot, in order to put faces and information to names, visit voterguide.sos.ca.gov and check out the official voter information guide. You may have already received a copy of the voter information guide through the mail if you have registered to vote. It can be overwhelming to locate information about each candidate, but this guide contains candidate statements that can help you decide who you might want to read more about and possibly vote for. The guide also has general information about your rights as a voter, checking your voting status, accessibility for voters with disabilities and more. After you feel sufficiently informed and mark your vote, you can mail back your vote-by-mail ballot with the prepaid postage or drop it off to a secure ballot drop box at a voting location on or before June 7.
Taking a few moments to register and cast your vote can have a huge impact in the following years. Best of luck through finals, and remember that every vote matters, including yours!