With California's presidential primary election just six weeks away, today the California Voter Foundation released its 2008 California Online Voter Guide, a nonpartisan Internet resource to help Californians get ready to vote.
California is the largest of 22 states that will be voting on nominees for president on February 5, which has been dubbed "Super-Duper Tuesday". Californians who vote by mail will begin receiving their ballots the week of January 7th, nearly a month ahead of the February election, and less than three weeks from today.
With four in ten California voters expected to vote by mail, the presidential primary is actually a month-long election season that kicks off on January 7. California's Legislature changed the Presidential primary election date in an effort to increase California's clout in the Presidential nominee selection process. February 5 is the first of three California statewide elections taking place in 2008.
In addition to selecting Presidential nominees, California voters will also be voting on seven propositions that would change school funding rules, legislative term limits and tribal gaming agreements.
The accelerated campaign schedule has placed elections in the middle of the holiday season. Presidential candidates are touting the holiday theme in campaign ads that have begun to air online and in other early primary states. While some voters may be reluctant to talk politics with family members around the holidays, families can have a significant impact on potential voters.
A 2005 CVF survey found that two-thirds of California's infrequent voters say that when they do vote, family members are an influential source of information. Family visits can be a great opportunity to talk about the candidates and measures on the ballot, and help each other get prepared to vote.