Vote: Your voice matters

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We here in California can go to the polls until 8 p,m., which is 11 p.m. on the East Coast. Before the polls close here on the West Coast we will start hearing about which presidential candidates are leading the race.

Even at this moment the news channels are reporting on turnouts in the east, especially the battle ground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan although none are projecting any winners. The effect the news channels are trying to avoid of course is that voters, or potential voters in the Mountain and Pacific time zones might think their vote no longer matters if the rest of the country has already decided. But, California is very populated and has 55 electoral College votes, so the Golden State is very important to this election. California is considered a reliably “Blue,” or Democratic state, but the vote can’t be decided without us.

i-votedDespite our late addition to the national totals, locally and statewide we have a lot of other elections, like for the U.S. Senate. There are two Democrats in the race, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. That’s an important race for Californians, although the idea that it’s two people from one party seems unfair for voters that prefer the other parties, especially Republicans. But in California the two top vote-getters in the primaries get on the general election ballot, regardless of party.

Then there are all the Congressional races up and down the state, 53 total. You can decide which person will represent you in the House of Representatives.  Here is a list of the districts and who is on the ballot for each one. They have links to provide more information. If you live in Orange County there’s a chance the party complexion will change from Red to Blue, or at least Purple. But one thing many analysts agree on: the Orange Curtain just might come down. In other words, in some districts the races are very close, so your vote matters.

Then there are the local offices, including judges and school board members, and in some jurisdictions, city council and county supervisor seats.

Then there are all the ballot measures and each municipality and county has their own, plus the state ballot measures. In San Diego, for instance, voters will be deciding on a downtown stadium-convention center to keep the Chargers in town. Along with Prop C, which is the one the city and Chargers are pushing, is Prop D, which also increases hotel occupancy taxes and allows Qualcomm Stadium, where the Chargers now play, to be sold for educational and park development. If the voters say “No” to Prop C Los Angeles might have a second NFL team.

There is a lot for California — and Los Angeles area — voters to decide, so go out and vote. Your voice matters.

Photos by Tim Forkes