California 16 and 17 Year Olds Can Pre-Register to Vote Online

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In 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 113 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson which allowed voter pre-registration beginning at age 16 once the California’s statewide voter registration database, VoteCal, was certified. VoteCal was certified in September 2016

Pre-registering to vote helps enable California youth to vote as soon as they turn 18. The process can be done online at registertovote.ca.gov as long as 16 and 17 year olds have signatures on file with the DMV. If signatures are not on file, they may pre-register by completing a paper form and mailing to their county elections office.

Learn more at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/pre-register-16-vote-18.

The Number of Registered Voters in Ventura County Has Increased Nearly 10% Over the Last Seven Years

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The Ventura County Registrar of Voters website has up to date counts of the number of registered voters in Ventura County. We like to track the totals from time to time to see the trends.

On May 12, 2012, there were 406,644 registered voters in Ventura County, consisting of:

  • 157,539 Democrats

  • 150,919 Republicans

  • 77,994 Nonpartisans

  • 20,192 Other

Approximately seven years later, in May 2019, there are 445,217 registered voters, a 9.5% increase, including:

  • 176,712 Democrats, a 12% increase

  • 130,228 Republicans, a 14% decrease

  • 110,225 Nonpartisans, a whopping 41% increase

  • 28,052 Other, also a large 39% increase

Can’t remember if you are eligible to vote? Look it up at THIS LINK. What I’ve found with this Voter Eligibility Search function is that, unlike a search engine, your search terms have to be precise. If you are registered as Richard King, if you type Rich King into the search, it will not find you.

Register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov.

Register to Vote for the November 6, 2018 General Election by October 22nd

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The State of California makes it easy to register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov. The system will search the DMV database for your California driver license or ID card, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number.

While registering to vote, you will be asked if you want to disclose a political party preference, which currently includes: American Independent, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, Republican and "Other." Or you can indicate that you prefer not to disclose your preference.

While registering, you can also choose a permanent vote by mail ballot, which is a nice feature that I've used for years.

The Ventura County Clerk and Recorder Elections Division will contact you when the registration is approved or if additional information is needed.

You can also use the online registration to re-register when you 1) move to a new permanent residence; 2) change your name; or 3) want to change your political party preference.

All U.S. citizen residents of California age 18 or older on Election Day are eligible to vote, unless you are found to be mentally incompetent by a court or are in jail, prison or on parole for certain felonies (described in more detail at this link).

You can also register to vote the old fashioned way by picking up a paper voter registration application at the Ventura County elections office, library, DMV or post office.

Can you vote online? Nope. You'd think that we'd have figured out a way to do that by now, but the State indicates "For security reasons, California law prohibits casting a ballot over the Internet. This also means that county elections officials cannot accept marked ballots sent via email from military and overseas voters." (who may only vote by mail or fax).

To vote for the November 6, 2018 Statewide General Election you must be registered by October 22, 2018!

Registered Voters in Ventura County

Here in Ventura County, as of October 12, 2018 there are 442,333 registered voters, compared to 433,324 on October 29, 2014. That’s a 2% increase. (Update 11/3/18: 449,053 registered voters in Ventura County.)

By party:

  • 176,426 Democrats, up 6,560, or 7.5%, from 169,866 registered October 29, 2014. (Update 11/3/18: 178,471)

  • 131,884 Republicans, down 16,272, or 11%, from 148,156 registered October 29, 2014. (Update 11/3/18: 132,970)

  • 110,375 Non-Partisan, up 18,751, or 20.5%, from 91,624 registered October 29, 2014. (Update 11/3/18: 113,459)

  • 23,648 Other Parties, almost the same as the 23,628 registered October 29, 2014. (Update 11/3/18: 24,153)

Exercise your right to vote! Learn more about Ventura County elections on the Ventura County Registrar of Voters website at recorder.countyofventura.org/elections.

County of Ventura Provides Proposition 64 Marijuana FAQs

Note that the following excerpts come from information published by the County of Ventura at ventura.org with regard to the passing of Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative.

This proposition was passed in the recent Presidential General Election by a margin of 57..1% (7,929,915 yes votes) to 42.9% (5,945,764 no votes). In Ventura County, the margin was slightly closer, with 55.56% for the measure and 44.44% against the measure.

Immediate Changes with Passing of Prop 64:

Personal recreational use: Adults 21+ may use and grow recreational marijuana for personal use. Marijuana use is not allowed in public places. Personal growing of marijuana is limited to six plants per residence/property.  You may possess, transport or purchase up to one (1) ounce of marijuana and up to eight (8) grams of marijuana concentrates under Prop 64.

Prop 64 allows the County to establish additional restrictions in unincorporated areas, but has not done so at this point in time.

Commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing or sales operations: There are no
immediate impacts upon commercial marijuana activities; such activities continue to be
prohibited in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County. Commercial cultivation,
manufacturing, sales and distribution require a license from the County of Ventura and
the State of California.

Can I Sell Home Grown Marijuana?

No. Prop 64 does not allow for selling any product derived from a marijuana plant.

Can I Smoke Marijuana While Driving?

No. Prop 64 prohibits driving under the influence of marijuana. It also prohibits smoking or ingesting marijuana, or even possessing an open container or package of marijuana while driving or riding in a motor vehicle.

Can I Smoke Marijuana in Public Places?

No.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana for Recreational Use in Ventura County?

At this time, no retail or manufacturing businesses have been approved for selling recreational marijuana in Ventura County.

Complying with Voting Laws in California

With the Presidential General Election coming up in less than two weeks, how about a quick summary of selected voting laws in the State of California for voters here in the Ventura County area. The following is a summary from the California Secretary of State's "Voting Law Compliance Handbook: A Voter's Guide to Safeguard California's Election Process" updated April 2016.

Voting at the Polls

Making the time to vote: The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you work a long shift and are unable to get to the polls to vote in a statewide election, California state law provides up to two hours of paid time off to vote. These hours must be at the beginning or end of your normal shift and you must give your employer two working days notice. 

Rewards for voting: Can the local donut shop offer a free donut if you show them that you've voted in the Presidential Election? NO! Say what!? No free donut?? Nope. Federal law prohibits anything of value given in exchange for proof of voting if there is a federal office (e.g. President, U.S. House, U.S. Senate) on the ballot. In a state or local only election, the donut offering would be o.k., just as long as it wasn't given to bribe you to vote (or not vote) for a particular candidate or measure. Speaking of donuts, or doughnuts, as it were, the new Krispy Kreme in Oxnard opened last month.

Electioneering: It is illegal to promote a candidate or measure within 100 feet of a polling place. So if you see signs or other promotional materials in the parking lot at a polling place, that is illegal. And on a side note, California law makes it illegal to "photograph, video record, or otherwise record a voter entering or exiting a polling place." So you best not be selfie-ing at a crowded polling place. 

Voting by Mail

Death and Voting:  Hypothetically, let's just say my spouse passed away two weeks ago but I received her absentee ballot in the mail. I knew who she planned to vote for, so I turned in her ballot along with mine. This is o.k., right? WRONG! You cannot vote for your deceased spouse, nor anyone else that is deceased for that matter. That said, if your spouse had completed the ballot and signed the envelope before passing, that would a legitimate ballot, as the vote-by-mail voting period opens 29 days before the election.

Returning Vote by Mail Ballots (from the Ventura County Clerk/Recorder): If you mail your absentee ballot in, allow for seven days' delivery if you can; that said, the ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than November 14, 2016. Otherwise, you can return your ballot to any of the 10 City Clerk offices in Ventura County, to the Ventura County Government Center in Ventura or at the Thousand Oaks Library. Or, you can bring them to any polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Counting the Ballots

Can I Watch? Yes, you can watch the entire process, from opening of the vote-by-mail ballot envelopes to the counting of ballots on election night, by law.  But perhaps contact the Ventura County Clerk/Recorder first.

Campaign Do's and Don'ts

Use of State Seal: It is considered election fraud to use an official government seal in campaign literature. This should be reported to the Election Fraud Investigation Unit at 916.657.2166 or call the Ventura County Clerk/Recorder.

Paycheck Inserts: It is illegal in California to attempt to influence employees to vote for or against something by inserting something in your paycheck envelope.

These are just some of the elections laws in the State of California. For more complete information, visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections.

November 8, 2016 Presidential General Election Registration and Key Voting Dates

The State of California makes it extremely simple to register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov for this coming November 8, 2016 Presidential General Election.

The system will search the DMV database for your California driver license or ID card, date of birth and last four digits of your SSN. The Ventura County Clerk and Recorder Elections Division will contact you when the registration is approved or if additional information is needed. See how easy it is at THIS LINK.

You can also register to vote the old fashioned way by picking up a paper voter registration application at the Ventura County elections office, library, DMV or post office. More information at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm.

In California, the deadline to register to vote is 15 days before Election Date. Thus, to vote in the November 8th election your registration must be electronically submitted or postmarked by October 24th. 

As of August 22, 2016*, there were 419,869 registered voters in Ventura County, up from 412,924 on June 9th. You can register as Democrat (175,256; up from 169,759), Republican (139,129; up from 138,663), Non Partisan (85,638; up from 84,615) and Other (Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, American Independent) (19,846; down from 19,887).

* Update as of 10/8/16: 428,296 registered; 178,028 Democrat, 140,343 Republican, 89,190 Non Partisan and 20,735 Other.

Turnout for the 2012 General Election was 77.39%, with 426,948 registered voters and 330,419 votes cast. Turnout for the 2016 Presidential Primary Election was 51.79%, with 413,045 registered voters and 213,914 votes cast.

Visit recorder.countyofventura.org/elections to learn more information about Ventura County elections.

Registering to Vote in California Takes Just a Couple of Minutes Online

The 2016 primary election took place this past Tuesday, June 7th. The U.S. Presidential election is Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

There are currently 412,924 registered voters in Ventura County, consisting of 138,663 Republicans, 169,759 Democrats, 84,615 Non Partisan and 19,887 Other. Turnout for the primary election was 47.76% (updated), which is actually a significant improvement over the Presidential primary in 2012 at 32.9%. But inversely, of course, it means that a majority of registered voters in Ventura County still did NOT vote in the primary.

The estimated 2015 population of Ventura County was just over 850,000, with roughly 70% age 18 and older. This translates into roughly 600,000 residents eligible to vote in Ventura County, This means that for every two registered voters in Ventura County, there is one unregistered voter. It also means that for every voter in the primary, there were two eligible citizens who did not take part in the voting process.

With all that said, it certainly is EASY to register to vote in California. You can register in less than five minutes online at registertovote.ca.gov. And you can also, as I did, re-register if you would like to change political affiliation, or perhaps change to "No Party Preference."

The screenshots below show you the process. You of course must be an 18+ year old U.S. Citizen on election day, a California resident, and not be deemed incompetent to vote nor happen to be a convicted felon in jail or on parole.

California Online Voter Registration - Home Page

California Online Voter Registration - Home Page

Eligibility (1 of 3)

Eligibility (1 of 3)

Eligibility (2 of 3)

Eligibility (2 of 3)

Eligibility (3 of 3) - If you want no party preference, click the "No" box.

Eligibility (3 of 3) - If you want no party preference, click the "No" box.

You're done! Easy peasy!

You're done! Easy peasy!