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2020 Elections: Vote! “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

Bicycling Monterey extends respect to everyone who takes time to inform themselves about candidates and issues, then votes according to their own beliefs and conscience.

Update for voters in California:

  • Scroll down for Bicycling-Specific Voter Resources.
  • If you’re age 16 or 17, see special note for YOUTH below.
In this post, grab links to resources for voter registration and other voting info for all 50 states of the USA, plus specific info for California and for Monterey County. 
This post is provided as an intro about voting, and to highlight some common areas of confusion. For the most accurate, detailed, and up-to-date information, visit official government websites:
United States – http://www.usa.gov/how-to-vote
California – http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/
Monterey County – http://www.montereycountyelections.us
Some people find non-governmental websites more user-friendly, but be careful to get info from reliable sources!
One widely trusted resource about registering to vote, finding your polling place, and more is nonpartisan website VOTE411.orglaunched in 2006 by the League of Women Voters (LWV), a nonpartisan organization founded in 1920. Some additional non-governmental resources are also provided below.
For upcoming election dates,
and registration deadlines,
check your state’s website:
https://www.usa.gov/election-office.

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SPECIAL NOTE FOR YOUTH

Some states offer a pre-registration option for ages 16 and/or 17. Also, some states allow registered 17-year-olds who will be 18 by a general election to vote in a primary election. One non-governmental resource where you can learn more about this topic is http://www.headcount.org/think-youre-young-register/.

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United States of America

Some people also like vote.org, launched in 2016. For example, here’s their info on early voting, and whether it is an option in your state: http://www.vote.org/early-voting-calendar/

California residents!

About Primary Elections:

If you want to vote for a presidential candidate in California’s March 3, 2020 primary, be sure you’re registered to vote in a way that allows you to do so.
If you are currently registered as No Party Preference, in order to vote for a presidential candidate you’ll need to either: (1) request a ballot for one of the three parties that allow “crossover voting”—American Independent Party, Democratic Party, or Libertarian Party; or (2) re-register as a member of any of the following parties, which do not allow crossover voting—Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party, Republican Party.
Check out this State of California official web page on “How to Vote for U.S. President.” https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-info/how-vote-president/?#*
Additional tips:
  • Background: https://www.sos.ca.gov/administration/news-releases-and-advisories/2019-news-releases-and-advisories/three-parties-allow-no-party-preference-voters-participate-presidential-primary/.
  • Although it’s helpful to return the card that was mailed to registered No Party Preference voters (which may say “return by Dec 20, 2019” or another date), if you didn’t return the card, refer to the state’s website or contact your county’s elections department by phone, email, fax, or in-person for guidance. You have options up through Election Day, March 3, 2020!
  • If you vote by mail, note that most counties will not send out vote-by-mail ballots until February 3, 2020 for the March 3, 2020 Primary Election. If you are registered No Party Preference and receive a ballot without presidential candidates, you can take that ballot into a polling place all the way through Election Day and exchange it for one with American Independent, Democratic, or Libertarian candidates. 

More info for all California residents

For any possible changes, and for the most accurate and complete information, visit the State of California website, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/.

More info for California YOUTH age 16 or 17

More info for all Monterey County residents

As mentioned elsewhere in this post, a county may sometimes have “County-Administered Elections — upcoming Local Elections,” e.g., http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/county-administered-elections/. (NOTE: Don’t be confused by that page. If Monterey County is listed as “No elections scheduled at this time,” that just means there are no county-administered local elections. It does not mean that voters in Monterey County do not have other upcoming elections in which they can vote, e.g., upcoming national and state elections.)

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Do you want

government representatives who share your concerns about issues such as bicycling infrastructureclimate change, or gun law reform? Register and vote!

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As the League of Women Voters says,

“Democracy is not a spectator sport!” 

Non-governmental Monterey County resource: League of Women Voters of Monterey County: http://lwvmryco.org/

Bicycling-Specific

Voter Resources

California Bicycle Coalition (calbike.org)

Visit the CalBike website for legislative agenda https://www.calbike.org/calbike-2020-agenda/. CalBike leadership includes advocating for bike-friendly legislation and tracking voting records of state senators and assembly members. 

John Laird is running for the seat of CA State Senator Bill Monning, who is not running again because he has termed-out. Monning has been recognized by the California Bicycle Coalition “Voted for bikes 100%,” and Senator Monning has endorsed Laird as his successor in the State Senate: https://0ca11b4e-9cdc-4023-8051-b10648d0bf60.filesusr.com/ugd/30b961_8eece2e12c1e4f1f8daa99956de891c5.pdf

Check #IBikeIVote and #BikeTheVote hashtags on Twitter and other social media platforms for additional information.

People for Bikes (peopleforbikes.org)

https://peopleforbikes.org/tag/policy-news/
https://peopleforbikes.org/our-work/political-work/

The League of American Bicyclists (bikeleague.org)

  • Check the League website, e.g., https://www.bikeleague.org/content/i-bike-i-vote
  • U.S. Congressional voting records. As of 10/24/18, the League had recorded how members of Congress vote on issues that affect bicycling and walking, and the League planned to do that again in the future. With the current transportation bill expiring in 2020, there will be more U.S. Congressional votes coming. As for candidates, the League stated that they had a very difficult time getting campaigns to return completed questionnaires.  “Lesson learned; next time we will need more help in gathering completed questionnaires.”
  • To contact the League of American Bicyclists: http://www.bikeleague.org/content/staff

 Register and Vote!

If you don’t register and vote, don’t whine. Improving the democratic system requires an informed electorate that votes.

#NationalVoterRegistrationDay National Voter Registration Day https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org serves to remind: please register so you can vote!

Bicycling Monterey’s founder is registered No Party Preference (a.k.a. no party affiliation). The speech below is shared as a reminder about the importance of voting, whatever your values and beliefs.

Reminder for Californians:

Be sure you’re registered in a way that allows you to vote for your candidates of choice!
https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-info/how-vote-president/?#*

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This post was previously published 2013-2019.

It has been revised for 2020, including that links have been updated. For the most accurate, detailed, and up-to-date information, start with official government websites:

Short link to this post: https://bit.ly/VoterRegInfo

This post was published on 26 January 2020. One or more changes last made to this post on 12 May 2020.

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