Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Top Ten Do's and Don'ts for California Voters

I give a lot of interviews this time of year and get lots of questions from voters -- here are the top 10 voting do's and don'ts on my mind this election season:

1.  You DON'T have to vote on everything on the ballot.  You can skip contests if you like.

2. If you moved since the last election but didn't re-register, DO vote today if you moved within the same county.  Go to your new polling place, fill out a voter registration card and cast a provisional ballot.

3.  If you don't know where your polling place is, or if you are registered to vote, DO contact your county election office (some have polling place and registration lookup tools on their web sites).

4.  You DON'T have to show ID to vote, unless you are voting for the first time and are a newly-registered California voter.

5. You DO have to sign the poll book under penalty of perjury - signing and voting for someone else could land you in jail.

6.  If you are registered "decline-to-state" you DO have the right to cast a partisan ballot in either the Democratic or Republican party's primary.

7.  If you are a Decline-to-state voter, DON'T rely on your pollworker to ask you which ballot you want - procedures vary from county to county. Remember to speak up and ask for a partisan ballot at the polls if you choose to cast one.

8.  If you've misplaced or didn't receive your vote-by-mail ballot, DO still go to your polling place and vote today. You will be voting a provisional ballot so the county can verify you are not voting twice.

9. If you have a vote-by-mail ballot but didn't mail it yet, DO take it to your polling place, or any polling place in your county and cast it there.

10. DO check the back side of your ballot for additional contests - some ballots are double-sided.

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