VOTE – By Ray Cabrera/District IV Director, Inland Empire

I guess every time there is an election, we hear about ‘getting out and voting.’  This is not a political statement in any way, but rather a call to voters about the importance to get out and vote.

I am dedicated to increasing voter participation in any legal way available to me. This is not my first rodeo when it comes to trying to increase voter participation. Back in 1972, while I was still in college, I used my green VW Super Beetle to take senior citizens to their polling places. It was a gratifying time for me helping seniors. Now years later I am a senior myself.

By the time I could vote in a presidential election, I was already 24 years old. The voting age had been lowered to 18 by the ratification of the 26th Amendment on July 1, 1971.

“Postal voting in the United States, also referred to as mail-in voting or vote by mail is a form of absentee ballot in the United States, in which a ballot is mailed to the home of a registered voter, who fills it out and returns it by postal mail or drops it off in-person into a secure drop box or at a voting center. Research shows that the availability of postal voting increases voter turnout.”  (Wikipedia.org)

“Absentee ballots were first used for the military during the American Civil War in 1861, during the Republican Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. For many years after, postal votes were for people who could not go to the polling place on Election Day.” (Wikipedia.org)

Forward to 2020, and we still have concerns with voting by mail. Regardless who you listen to the consensus is that there is a minimal amount of fraud taking place with mail-in voting. Since I became involved with CWC and was still working for EDD, I found that my time was a little restricted. So, when the next election came along in California, I signed up to vote by mail. In the last 40 years of voting, I have not run into any problem casting my vote by mail. I have followed the instructions, signed the envelope, and returned it early by mail. I have never felt that my ballot was rejected.

On the March 3, 2020, primary, California had a turn out rate of approximately 37.7% of the voting-eligible population of 25,723,148.  Ballots issued were: 16,372,985, but only 6,958,577 voted and counted with 102,428 ballots not counted for one reason or other. Research shows that the availability of postal voting increases voter turnout. Particularly in today’s climate of the pandemic, more voters are contemplating on using the mail-in ballot option. The scare is that the postal system will not be able to handle the surge. The same is said every holiday season. If you want your package to arrive, mail it early. The same can be said about your ballot. Receive it, fill it out, sign it, and mail it early.

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