Let’s Compare and Contrast

This past Friday I received a piece of mail that reinforced my satisfaction about living in California.

Sure, California has its problems – high taxes, a housing shortage, the politics, homelessness, earthquakes and more.  And according to this article:

“All 58 counties in the state have seen a drop in out-of-state entrances and most counties saw an increase in the number of people leaving the state.”

But that piece of mail I received reminded me of the proverbial silver lining:

In 2021, 19 states passed laws that make it harder for people to vote:

Here are the 19 states:

And there’s much more to come:

“The push to impose voting restrictions at the state level is poised to continue next year as Republicans drive forward with an array of new proposals – ranging from legislation that would eliminate ballot drop boxes to bills that would establish new ID requirements to vote.”

While Republican legislatures were and are rushing to pass restrictive voting laws, last September the California governor signed Assembly Bill 37 and said:

“For every voice to be heard.”

Back to that piece of mail – here it is:

(I’ve removed my name and address.)

This pertains to our Gubernatorial Primary Election on June 7, 2022, and I received it on February 25, 2022, more than three months ahead of time.

Plenty of time for a voter to address any problems with their registration.

On this panel I’m asked to verify my address:

“If everything is correct, no further action is needed.”

How easy is that?

And if my address isn’t correct, there’s the web address – sd.vote.com – to update my information.

This panel also invited me to “Look inside to learn more!” and I did:

The inside clearly shows that even though I will receive my ballot by mail, I don’t have to return my ballot by mail – I can also use a drop box, or drop off my ballot at a Vote Center.

I don’t even have to use the mail-in ballot – I can vote at any Vote Center in San Diego County.

At the Vote Centers I can also register to vote or update my registration.

Let’s go back to those ballot drop boxes – they’ve become a target for Republicans:

And in Wisconsin – this won’t be the only state – they’ve been banned:

How easy, I wondered, will it be for me to find a ballot drop box?

Easy-peasy.

At sd.vote.com and I found a list of ballot drop box addresses in San Diego County.

I also had the option of finding my closest drop-off location here:

I put in my zip code and got four locations in my town, one a short drive from my house.

I also learned that for the June 7 election, some Vote Centers will be open for 11 days, and all Vote Centers open for four days.

That piece of mail also included information for voters with disabilities, and for voters who want to request election materials in Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese or Chinese:

Seriously – I can’t think of anything California could do to make voting easier, other than someone coming to my house and showing me how to fill in my ballot:

And in many states, I suspect Republican legislators would like to do exactly that.

But they don’t have to.

Local Republican legislators can follow Texas’ lead and just toss ballots:

And those local Republican legislators’ counterparts in Washington, DC are making sure that the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – two bills that would set national standards for federal elections – aren’t going to happen:

Bottom line?

Even with the problems we have in California, I’m glad I live here, especially when it comes to voting.

So many Americans are facing this:

But California is the Land of the Free – free to mail my ballot or drop it off, free to not use it and vote in person, free to choose from plenty of options as to when and where I vote.

And come June 7 (or earlier) I’ll be wearing one of these:

How many Americans will be wearing one of these?

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