By the Plumas County League of Women Voters
With much discussion recently centered on the rights of the individual in this country, one that is often not fully appreciated is the right to vote. Throughout the world, people have had to fight for the right to vote, and some still continue to do so. In some parts of the world, voting is not transparent, democratic, or fair.
When you don’t vote, the outcome of elections and decisions that will impact you and the future of our country are left to those who do vote.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
From its inception 100 years ago, the League of Women Voters has been a nonpartisan, activist, grassroots organization whose mission is to empower and encourage voters to exercise their fundamental right to vote and to defend each eligible voter’s equal opportunity to exercise that right. The LWV is dedicated to ensuring that our elections remain free, fair, and accessible.
The Plumas County League of Women Voters encourages citizens to be informed and to participate in government with the goal of influencing public policy through education and advocacy.
How do you become an informed and involved voter? The first step is to educate yourself on the issues and on candidates’ qualifications. Sources of information available online include VOTE411.org, a one-stop non- partisan resource for the voting public that includes a ballot look-up tool, candidate positions on issues, and more.
For local candidate information, a great source is the LWV-sponsored forums. You can also go to the Plumas County LWV and the national LWV Facebook pages.
The California Voter Information Guide for 2020, found at vote.ca.gov, also offers information for voters. For each statewide measure placed on the ballot, the guide includes an impartial analysis of the proposal and the potential costs to taxpayers as prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Proponents and opponents prepare arguments in favor of and against each measure. The text of each measure is presented, and a summary prepared by the Attorney General or the Legislature, in addition to other information.
The next step? Make a plan to vote. Every California registered voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot. The Plumas County elections office began mailing out ballots on October 5, 2020. When you receive your ballot, schedule a date with yourself to complete and return the ballot, the sooner the better to make sure your ballot is received in time and counted. Read up on the issues and candidates now. Don’t wait for the ballot to arrive.
Last, and most important, follow through on your voting plan and vote. You can sign up at wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov to receive ballot tracking by text, email, or voice call. Then congratulate yourself for your crucial participation in democracy by exercising your right to vote. It is more than just a right, it is our responsibility as citizens of a democracy, an expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, and this world.
For more information on the League of Women Voters of Plumas County, contact us at [email protected] or find us on Facebook at League of Women Voters of Plumas County. Stay active! Democracy is not a spectator sport.