Letter: Some say democracy in the U.S. is dead. Let’s prove them wrong.


September 20 is National Voter Registration Day for September’s National Voter Registration Month.

Do you think your vote doesn’t matter? A local school board member lost the bid for re-election by eight votes. Eight votes. The first time that Mission Oaks High School’s bond measure went on the ballot in Tulare, it lost by 11 votes. It passed at a subsequent election. You know that the construction costs would certainly have increased since the first try. Your vote does matter!

Your vote is democracy at work, alive and well.

Criteria to vote

Are you eligible to vote in Tulare County? We’d venture a “yes.” According to the Tulare County Elections Office in Visalia, there are four criteria to meet: You are a U.S. citizen and a resident of California; you may have a criminal history but are not currently serving for a felony in a correctional facility; you have not been found incompetent to vote by a court; and you are 18 or older on Election Day. Bonus time-saver for parents or guardians: tell your teens they may pre-register at 16 or 17 and be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. If a voter has moved, has a different name, turned 18, changed party registration, or become a U.S. citizen since last voting, that voter’s registration must be updated before voting in the next election.

Where to vote

Fortunately for all of us in California, we can vote by mail. How convenient! If you think your ballot was stolen from your mailbox, call the Tulare County Elections Office at 559-624-7300; your old ballot will be voided and a new ballot will issued. Your ballot will be delivered in a purple-striped envelope. In Tulare County bilingual ballots are printed in Spanish and English and are sent to every registered voter.  Facsimile ballots are provided in In Tagalog, Ilocano, Laotian, and Burmese at designated polling locations. The Elections Code allows a voter to have up to two people assist in casting their ballot, if they are unable to vote without assistance at their polling site. Further, when you vote in Tulare County, your ballot is counted securely as our County’s election equipment is on its own server – nothing is on the internet that you and the rest of the world uses.


The League of Women Voters works not only to empower voters with the information they need to take part in elections, but to create more fair, accessible election systems. Go to VotersEdge.org or VOTE411.ORG for more election information, available in English and Spanish, brought to you by the League’s Education Fund. Check your voter registration, find your polling place, and learn about candidates, campaign donors and more!

Keep democracy alive

The League of Women Voters have one goal in mind: make sure every American can vote. You are needed!

Donna Mekeel
President of Tulare County League of Women Voters
[email protected]

This letter to the editor is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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