Alan Riquelmy: Don’t forget to vote |

Alan Riquelmy: Don’t forget to vote

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

There’s at least one Nevada County resident who wastes no time voting.

They get their mail-in ballot, fill it out and return it, ASAP. This way, they figure, if they die, the vote still counts.

Imagine how robust our republic would be if we all thought this way.

Not that our populace should focus on death as the sole reason for voting. There are plenty of other reasons: having a voice in our government, invoking a right that people fought and died for, participating in a local, state and nationwide exercise that binds us together as Americans.

So, the question remains whether God is an ant or a virus. Does it really matter?

But, hey, if that ballot serves as a memento mori for you, then go for it.

The call to vote used to sound something like — This Nov. 3, America makes its voice heard.

That doesn’t work so well these days. Election Day really lasts a month in California, and is going on right now. A better line would be — This October, make your voice heard, at the ballot box, the drop box or by mail.

Maybe not the best movie trailer voice over, but you get the idea.

I harp on voting quite a bit in this space, and with good reason. Plenty of us get wrapped up in the presidential election. It’s important, but so is who sits on the Grass Valley and Nevada City councils. So is who sits on the Nevada County Board of Education or the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

Maybe they should put little skulls on the mail-in ballots, as a memento suffragium: Remember to vote.

Just as voting has changed over the years, so has our election coverage at The Union.

As a child, I remember leafing through several pages of the local paper. Each one had a sample ballot for the multitude of precincts in the county.

You’d be hard pressed to find a paper that still does that. You’ll also find it hard to learn who won when reading the paper the day after Election Day. One big reason: California ballots have several days to reach their respective elections offices.

Our deadlines at The Union are early as it is. Polls will close, and the first results don’t come in for at least 30 minutes, maybe more. There won’t be any numbers in the paper the next day.

Instead we’ll provide election results on our website — We’ll focus on local races and ballot measures. We’ll update our website throughout that night, providing you with the most recent numbers as we get them.

Then, the next day, our reporters will provide context to those numbers. We’ll look at who won their respective races, and what their next steps are. We’ll see what local ballot measures won, and which ones didn’t.

And we’ll keep updating you on the races you care about, as the numbers come in, regardless of how long it takes to count all the ballots.

Many of us — hopefully, most of us — will participate in this election. A participatory democracy is what keeps the engine of our government running.

Do your research, cast your ballot and take the “I voted” sticker if voting in person. Wear it proudly, like a badge.

Like a memento.

Contact Acting Editor Alan Riquelmy at or 530-477-4239.

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