In order to vote in this, or any other election, you MUST be a registered voter.  This election is an historic election for many, many reasons.  One of the most critical issues, is the preservation of the definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman.  To be able to vote for that preservation by voting Yes on Proposition 8, you have to be a registered voter.  Here are a few easy steps you can take to determine if you are registered, and what to do if you are not registered.

AM I A REGISTERED CALIFORNIA VOTER?

This is easy to determine.  If you have any question about it at all.  Go to this website

Vote For Change

and follow the directions by providing your name, then clicking Get Started.

Next enter your email address.  Now this is a political site and if you don’t want to be added to their email list, then just make up an email address and enter it; but, you need to enter something, valid or not, to be able to continue.  Click Next.

The next screen asks if you are registered to vote.  You have three options, Yes, No, Not Sure.  Select the Not Sure option and then click on Next;

Enter your street address where you are living, your city, state, and zip code and then click on Next.  If you are registered to vote, the next screen should come up with your full name, your date of birth, and your current registered address.  If that is you, then you are registered to vote in California.

If you are not registered to vote, then a screen will come up that indicates they cannot find you in the data base, and chances are that you are NOT registered to vote.  YOU THEN NEED TO REGISTER TO VOTE!

HOW CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE?

You can begin the process online by visiting the Secretary of State’s web page below:

Voter Registration California Secretary of State

Note you must be a U.S. Citizen, a resident of California and 18 years of age to be able to register.  You can click on the link on the Secretary of State’s web page, or on this link immediately below to begin the online process:

Link For Online Voter Registration Application

Note you have to choose the county in which you live to get the correct form.  This is critical, because it provides you with the form for your particular county and the county recorder’s information where you can mail your ballot.

Once you fill out this online form, you can then print it out, and mail it to the county recorder’s office.  My suggestion is that you physically take that form to your county recorder’s office in person, because it will shorten the process considerably.

If you don’t want to register online, and you prefer to register the old fashion way, you can pick up a voter registration form at your county elections office, library, or U.S. Post Office. It is important that your voter registration form be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days before the election.

WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES TO REGISTER TO VOTE:

In California you must be registered to vote 15 days before the election.  For the November 4, 2008 election, your voter registration form must be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days before the election, or October 20, 2008.  So, if you are going to mail in your registration request, do that with the October 20, 2008 deadline in mind.

Here is a link to the various election offices in the various counties throughout California:

California County Election Offices

Click on this link to locate the election office in your county, and give them a call if you have any questions. This site also lists the respective websites of the various election offices around the state.

ABSENTEE BALLOT REGULATIONS:

The regulations are pretty much the same all over the state; but, each county will have specific information on how to apply and where to apply.  I suggest you go to the website for the county where you live and look on that website.  In my county, San Luis Obispo, you can to to this link and obtain the necessary information:

San Luis Obispo County Absentee Ballot Information

Note that this page contains specific information for how to obtain an absentee ballot if you live in San Luis Obispo County.  Again, I suspect the rules are similar for all counties throughout the state; however, the locations of the offices and where to mail or take your requests will be different.  Hence, you need to check the county election office in your county to make certain you have all the information you need, and also the deadlines involved.  For example in San Luis Obispo County if you want an absentee ballot you must request one no later than seven days before the election so it can be mailed to you.  In San Luis Obispo County you can request an absentee ballot by:

    The first day an vote by mail ballot may be mailed to a voter is 29 days prior to the election. Vote by mail requests must be received no later than 7 days prior to the election in order for the ballot to be mailed to the voter. After that date the voter must appear in the Office of the County Clerk-Recorder and complete an application indicating the reason they cannot appear at the polls on election day.  Vote by mail ballots may be requested in one of six ways:
  • By filling out the Vote by Mail Application on the back cover of the sample ballot sent to each registered voter;
  • By letter to the County Clerk-Recorder, 1055 Monterey St. Rm. D120, San Luis Obispo CA 93408. The letter must state the voters name, residence address, address to which the ballot should be sent and voter’s signature.
  • In person at the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office- in San Luis Obispo at the address above or for voters living in the North County, 5th and 1st Supervisorial Districts, at our office in Atascadero- 5955 Capistrano Ave., Suite B. The office hours are 7:30-4:00.
  • By faxing a written request to the county Clerk-Recorder’s Office at 781-1111.
  • By accessing our online forms.    Click here to access Vote by Mail Ballot Request Application
  • By E-mail: Julie Rodewald

All of this information was taken verbatim from the San Luis Obispo County election’s office web site.  Again, if you still have questions, I suggest you locate your county’s election’s office, call them, and find out the specific information you need.

If you are not a registered voter, you cannot vote.  If you do not vote, for whatever reason, you have little room to complain about how the country, state, or your local communities are run.  Register today, if you are not currently registered.  Vote on November 4, 2008.  People die and have died to allow us the exercise of this sacred Constitutional Right.