Our View: Get ready to vote

In California, it’s easy to vote.

The difficulty varies state by state. You might need a reason to vote absentee in some. Others have early voting, but no ballot is automatically mailed to you.

But in California, you get it all.

Every registered voter in Nevada County should have received their ballot in the mail by now. If you haven’t, call the elections office at 530-265-1298 and let them know.

You can fill it out and mail it back immediately. You pay nothing for postage.

Maybe you have jitters about mailing your ballot. That’s fine. You can complete it, and then bring it to one of several drop boxes scattered across the county.

You can also bring it to the vote center set up on the second floor of the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City, and drop it off there. Or, even more convenient, avoid going upstairs and place your ballot in a secure drop box in the building’s lobby.

More vote centers open on Halloween, and will remain open each day through Tuesday, Nov. 3 — Election Day. The precinct-style of voting is no more in our county. Instead you can deliver your completed ballot or vote in person at any vote center.

What could be easier?

We pride ourselves in our turnout here, as well as our civic engagement. There are plenty of diverse political beliefs here, maybe more than in many parts of the country. One of Nevada County’s strengths is it’s potpourri of politics.

Diverse beliefs can often bring conflict, which we’ve seen at both local Back the Blue and Black Lives Matter rallies. Strong opinions and talk is fine, but physical conflict is the last thing we need. This country already is divided. The current days’ flames need no more fuel.

Instead, take whatever emotion you may have about this election and focus it on getting people to vote. We’re already doing a great job with that — as of Thursday 36% of ballots already had been returned.

And we’ve still got over a week to go until the big day.

Our local elections office has mailed out a plethora of information in its Voter Information Guide. You’ve already gotten your ballot. If you haven’t already voted, take a moment to study it. What questions do you have? Find the answers now before casting your vote.

One good place to find answers: www.theunion.com/elections. Read about recent political forums, and review our coverage of local races and ballot measures.

Then, when you’re ready, fill out your ballot and cast your vote.

Another great move on our elections office part is the wide distribution of drop off boxes, and the range of times many of them are accessible. Some — like the one in the parking lot of the Eric Rood Administrative Center — are open 24/7.

And if you want a quicker vote count, turn in your ballot sooner rather than later. That gives the elections office time to collect and process it. Ballots delivered to drop boxes closer to the election might not be included in the election night count, because election workers didn’t have time to include them.

There’s a lot of moving pieces to ensuring a smooth election. Competent and trained poll workers and election employees, and a streamlined system of counting the ballots is essential.

We may not know the results of every election on Nov. 3, but you can be assured elections officials are hard at work.

The easy part — voting — is now up to you.

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at [email protected]

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