If You Haven’t Already, Register to Vote. If You Have, Help Someone Else Vote.

By Rachel Puryear, Attorney and Founder of Legal Document Helpers

Red, white and blue graphic which says, “Vote. Your Voice Matters.”

There’s an old joke among lawyers: Good lawyers know the law, but the best lawyers know the judge.

This joke touches on an even older truth – that is, it matters who makes and interprets laws. Who the judge is, easily swings a legal case either way.

Who the lawmakers are, matters in what laws are made or not made – and this affects the lives of everyone. Regardless of your political views, you should exercise your voice in deciding who makes laws that affect your life.

If you have already registered to vote and have a voting plan, good for you. If you have not yet registered to vote, do so quickly and easily in California here (several languages are available):

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/

If you are not sure if you are registered, check your registration status here:

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/cavoter/

If you are registered and set to go, ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they are registered. Make a plan for voting – will you vote in person? Mail in your ballot? Drop it off? Planning in advance can minimize the chances that you will have a problem with voting on election day.

If you are good to go and can easily vote with no anticipated problems, ask around to others in your circle and community, and find out who might need help voting. With the status of the post office and mailed ballots being uncertain, people in your community who depend on voting by mail might need help. You could identify such people by asking around, and if you are able you could offer them a ride to drop off their ballot to avoid possible mail delays.

If you or anyone you know experiences any kind of difficulty with voting – any kind at all, or with voter intimidation, call the Election Protection Hotline at (866) OUR-VOTE (English) or (888) VEY-VOTA (Español). Also see more at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s page on voter intimidation and voter interference, and pass this along:

After you have voted, you can track your ballot here:

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status/wheres-my-ballot/

Sometimes, someone is sued but fails to respond to the lawsuit at court. When this happens, the person who sued them (known as the plaintiff) does go to court, and the judge hears only their side of it. Often, such a plaintiff will win. This is known as a default judgment, and usually does not end well for the person who was sued (the defendant) but failed to respond.

Likewise, failure to make our collective voices heard by voting, will not end well.

Make yourself heard and not only vote, but encourage those around you to do so, too.

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