Californians, Go Vote!

I have a one-word suggestion for my post today: vote. A record number of us have registered to vote. This could be at least in part due to the fact that for the first time ever we could register to vote online. More than three fourths of us who are eligible to vote have registered to do so. But now there is one more step, we must go out and exercise that right.

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If you received a vote-by-mail ballot and have yet to mail it in in, no problem, go drop it off at a polling place. If you were considering going to your local polling place, I would ask you to move from the considering it to planning on it.

While California may not be a so-called "swing state" there are still many important races to weigh in on. Candidates for federal, state, and local elected offices are asking us if they can be our representatives. In addition, Californians have been asked to weigh in on 11 ballot measures (ten initiatives and one referendum), which could deeply impact many of those living in our state.

I am not going to tell you to vote because it was so hard for many of us to get the right to vote and/or the right to an equally weighted vote (although I suppose I just did). I am not going to tell you to vote because as a result of Hurricane Sandy and other circumstances voters in the rest of the country face numerous obstacles that voters in the Golden State hopefully will not (although, again, I suppose I just did).

I am urging you to exercise your fundamental right to vote because it is a preservative right. By definition it is the right that helps to protect our rights in so many areas. All of the campaigning comes down to us. We are the "deciders." Our representative form of government depends on the ability and willingness of its representatives to exercise their right to vote.

Jessica Levinson writes about the intersection of law and government every Monday. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School. Read more of her posts here.

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