Natalie Adona: Preparation = empowerment: Your 2020 Election Survival Checklist
The 2020 election cycle has been in the news for what seems like forever (and ever … and ever), and now — in Game of Thrones, House of Stark-like fashion — it’s truly upon us.
The abundance of election information can be overwhelming. Much of the information out there is useful but sometimes it’s just plain confusing.
So how can you ensure that you are able to exercise your civic duty?
The Nevada County Elections Office is here to help you and all the voters in our great county!
The best thing that you can do is empower yourself with information and preparation. Why risk being caught off guard?
Here’s a checklist that will help you not only get through the 2020 election cycle, but love participating in it.
Check the status of your voter registration. It’s always better to know what your status is before you experience any issues.
Online portal, California Secretary of State: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/
Nevada County FAQ: https://www.mynevadacounty.com/Faq.aspx?QID=284
By phone: Nevada County Elections Office 530-265-1298
In person: 950 Maidu Ave. Suite 210, Nevada City, CA 95959
Check whether you are registered with a political party or are registered with no party preference. Your party registration determines your level of participation in the presidential primary.
Nevada County voters without a party preference were sent an orange crossover card. Here’s what it looks like: https://twitter.com/NevCoElections/status/1207783728409239552
Read my op-ed about crossover voting: (The Union,) https://www.theunion.com/opinion/columns/natalie-adona-tis-the-season-for-crossover-voting/
Learn more about how to vote for President in the primaries: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-info/how-vote-president/
Know where to find reliable information. For questions about elections process, it’s best to get it directly from the source.
General information, Nevada County Elections: (in person) 950 Maidu Ave. Ste 210, Nevada City, (by phone) 530-265-1298, (online) https://www.mynevadacounty.com/695/Registrar-of-Voters
State election information: 916-657-2166 or https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/
Other local California offices: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/county-elections-offices/
Know your key deadlines. Here’s some 2020 deadlines for the March primary election. Nevada County Elections will publish more dates as the November election draws nearer.
Jan. 23: state and local Voter Information Guides are mailed out
Feb. 3: ballots for Nevada County registered voters are mailed out; early voting begins at the Rood Administrative Center in Nevada City
Feb. 17: close of voter registration (with conditional registration available from February 18-March 3)
Feb. 22: 11-day vote centers open 8am-5pm
Feb. 29: 4-day vote centers open 8am-5pm
March 3: Election Day, all vote centers open 7am-8pm
Get to know what’s on the ballot. And keep an eye out for updates!
Have a plan to participate. There are a lot of steps. Do you how to answer all these questions about the voting process?
You have those key dates. When will you put them on your calendar?
When are you going to check your voter registration status?
If you’re not registered, when will you plan on registering? (Pro-tip: waiting until the deadline sometimes leads to problems—get it done ahead of time!)
Nevada County sends all registered voters a ballot by mail. You can mail it back, drop it off at a drop box or our office, or vote in person at a vote center. When will you decide which option works best for you?
When will you do your research on the candidates and issues?
When will you return your ballot?
Let us help you. We enjoy answering your questions, providing excellent customer service, and troubleshooting!
Using this checklist minimizes your chances of experiencing an unexpected, last minute problem. Let us help you have a great voting experience!
Natalie Adona is Nevada County assistant clerk-recorder/registrar of voters.
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