Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera County Dep. County Clerk Jose Gonzalez, demonstrates the electronic voting machine during a Voting Accessibility Workshop for voters with disabilities earlier this month.
Every registered voter in Madera County should have received ballots for the June 5 Statewide Direct Primary Election. Those who have not should contact the office of the Madera County Elections Division — by phone, 675-7720, or toll-free, 1-800-435-0509, in person at 200 W. 4th St, by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at http://www.votemadera.com/.
Candidates for state and local positions, along with five ballot measures, are vying for your vote.
Now if your mailbox looks anything like mine, it is full of campaign gibberish. There are bright-colored, glossy, often tri-fold brochures promoting various candidates as if they were running for prom king or queen. Too many of these campaigns are being run like a game show.
This election is the first of its kind for us. Madera County has adopted the procedures of the new California Voter’s Choice Act. This new set of election laws requires the Election Division and the County Registrar of Voters to provide its electorate with a larger number of opportunities to cast their ballots.
Instead of just vote-by-mail and one-day in-person polling places on Election Day, there are six vote centers and four ballot drop box locations.
The vote centers are at the Madera County Government Center, Oakhurst Community College Center, Chowchilla Civic Center, Liberty High School in Madera Ranchos, Oak Creek Senior Center in Coarsegold and the John Wells Youth Center in Madera.
The ballot drop box locations are at the Madera County Government Center, Oakhurst Grocery Outlet, Chowchilla Civic Center and the State Foods Market in Madera Ranchos.
Details for locations, including dates and hours of operation, are listed on the County Voter Information Guide included with your ballot.
Anyone eligible to vote has until Monday to register. After that and through Election Day, a conditional voter registration may still be submitted. These updated voting procedures were devised to provide ballot information earlier and to extend the amount of time and the places you can submit your votes.
The powers that be in Sacramento have decided that this is the best way to get more people involved in the election process. The reasoning is to allow them to receive their ballot in the mail and give them about a month to return it by mail, to a voting center or a drop box, to be counted. Electronic voting for the disabled, those who prefer machine voting or who need the information in a language other than English is provided at the voting centers. Spanish and Punjabi language ballot materials are available upon request.
Voting is a sacred civic responsibility and should not be taken lightly. People need to get involved in the election process and learn all they can about the individuals who want to represent our interests in government. In many foreign countries, people fight and die for the right to choose who governs their lives.
The effect of voter apathy is that it empowers too few people with the ability to select those who govern, make laws and decide where to spend our tax revenue.
Local elections impact everyone who lives in the county. Contested candidates appear on the ballot for Superior Court Judge and District Attorney.
Statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general, insurance commissioner and the District 1 State Board of Equalization all have multiple candidates running in this primary election. The top two vote-getters in each race will appear on the November ballot.
Have a good weekend.
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