Maritessa is Beneficial State Foundation’s Director of Community Engagement for California, based in Oakland, CA.
When I was a young girl, I fondly remember my father picking me up after school on Election Day. Together, we would head to our local polling place. My dad would spend weeks researching the key election issues, and each time he came prepared with the candidates and measures he would vote for, scribbled in a little notebook. We would then get ice cream – a treat for my patience and good behavior at the polling place. The act of voting was so normal in my household, and it was so easy that I thought everyone had the same opportunity to vote. It wasn’t until I was later exposed to the stories of courageous people who fought for this right to vote, that I learned to appreciate this opportunity, privilege and responsibility.
Now as an adult, I don’t just vote for myself. In that voting booth, I think about all the people who have been (and continue to be) denied this right. I think about my family and my community. I think about the air we breathe, the quality of our schools, and the opportunity we have to lessen human suffering and pain each time we show up at the polls and vote for policies that help people access the things they need to survive—and thrive.
Please make sure to vote today, if you are able to. Voting is one of the easiest ways you can show up for your community. If you haven’t voted yet, here are some resources for you to check out:
Election day information:
Conditional voter registration in California:
Conditional Voter Registration is a new safety net for Californians who missed the October 22 deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information for the November 6, 2018, General Election. While you may not be able to vote at your regular polling place or vote by mail, there is still an opportunity to cast a ballot by completing the conditional voter registration process. Eligible citizens who missed the October 22 deadline can go to their county elections office or a designated satellite location to register and vote conditionally. Their ballots will be processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process. Voters can complete the conditional voter registration process from October 23 all the way through Election Day on November 6. To find out where conditional voter registration is available near you, check the Early Voting web page. You can search by county or city.
This blog post reflects the author’s personal views and opinions, and does not represent the views and opinions of Beneficial State Bank and/or Beneficial State Foundation.