voter registration


Register to Vote Online Now! Deadline is Monday at Midnight

Yo, time’s a wastin’.

If you want to vote on November 6, it’s time to register. Because the deadline is Monday night, midnight.

Here in public radio, we are big fans of engagement in the political process. We’ve been working hard to bring you informative stories, an awesome Propositions Guide, and, every now and then, quirky entertaining election tidbits.

So, click on this link. Or the attractive “register to vote” graphic. You can register to vote online in about 60 seconds. If you have ever complained about politics in this country, it’s time to make your voice heard.

Register, then vote on November 6.

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In Central Valley, Organizers Aim For Untapped Latino Vote

By Alice Daniel

Daniela Simunovic, an organizer for Communities for a New California, works with Edgar Acevedo and another young canvasser to get out the vote in Sanger, CA. (Photo: Alice Daniel)

Daniela Simunovic, an organizer for Communities for a New California, works with Edgar Acevedo and another young canvasser to get out the vote in the central valley town of Sanger. (Photo: Alice Daniel)

Daniela Simunovic is an organizer for the non-profit group Communities for a New California. She’s advising students who are about to walk a neighborhood to register voters.

“What are you going to do if somebody says they don’t want to vote?” she asks her students.

“Ask them why not?” comes a reply.

“In a friendly tone, of course,” says one of the students.

These canvassers are working in the small Central Valley town of Sanger, where only half of the 12,000 potential Latino voters are registered. And even those who are registered aren’t voting. Just 1,200 Latino voters — out of those 12,000 potentials — cast a ballot in the 2010 election. While Latino voters have become an integral part of California politics, participation lags across the Valley.

More than 250,000 eligible Latino voters in the San Joaquin Valley have not registered

“If we were able to mobilize all the voters, we would really be able to change some outcomes in some elections on the issues that are important for our communities,” Simunovic says.

Those issues, she believes, include propositions on the November ballot. That’s why Communities for a New California is also conducting a fall campaign to inform Latino voters on propositions it feels are key to their interests, starting with labor rights and education. Continue reading

‘Honeymoon’ with Obama Turns to Reality of Married Life for Black Supporters

By Caitlin Esch

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson addresses Obama faithful at Everett and Jones restaurant in Oakland. (Photo: Caitlin Esch)

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson addresses Obama faithful at Everett and Jones restaurant in Oakland. (Photo: Caitlin Esch)

NAACP volunteer Gayle Akins pitches a table and spreads out voter registration forms at an anti-violence rally outside Oakland City Hall. She’s capitalizing on the support that President Barack Obama inspires locally: many new voters are registering simply to cast a vote for him.

Sometimes they act like, ‘I don’t know if my vote counts,’ but they know a lot about what’s going on,” Akins says. “If we can convince them — register to vote — and actually get out to vote … it’s a really good thing.”

Still, many African-American voters are frustrated. Four years ago, Oakland resident William Edwards says he was thrilled when Obama won. But Edwards has fallen on hard times; his home is in foreclosure, and he doesn’t think Obama is paying attention to the concerns of his community — things like too few jobs and too many African American men in prison.

“It’s almost like dating. You date someone and they show their great side, and you get married and it’s like ‘oh, they don’t pick up their socks.'”

“He’s got probably 95 percent of the black vote, but it’s nice to vote and support him,” Edwards says. “But, what are we gonna get for it? Everybody else has an agenda of what they wanna get. So what’s in it for us?”

Oakland Civil rights attorney Eva Paterson has had her own disappointments over the past four years, but she says the black community’s romance with the president has given way to something else. Continue reading

Register to Vote Deadline Monday 10/22 at Midnight — Register Online Now!

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, but Wednesday was the first day you could register entirely online to vote.’s right, while some other states are, controversially, adding new ID requirements in order to vote, California has opened up the process a bit with an easy-to-use online registration form. As the Chronicle reported Wednesday:

Made possible by a 2011 bill authored by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, the online system will allow people whose signature is already on file with the state Department of Motor Vehicles to transfer their voter registration form electronically to county elections officials from the secretary of state’s website.

“It’s already really easy to register to vote,” Shannon Velayas, spokesperson for the California Secretary of State’s office, told KQED’s Erika Kelly. “You can get a registration form at any post office. And the Secretary of State’s office has had an online application you can fill out since 2009, which over half a million people have used to register.”

But that form you have to print, sign, and mail in to your county election office. Not anymore. “You just need to fill out the online information and click send,” says Velayas. “The county elections office takes that information and verifies it, just as they would a paper registration card to make sure that person is eligible to vote.”

The deadline to register is Oct. 22. And you can still do it the old-fashioned way, of course — entirely on paper.