A new decade has dawned and with it will come several important community events this year that will shape our future.
Among these 2020 events are the March 3 Presidential Primary Election and the Nov. 3 Presidential General Election.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and Registrar of Voters are encouraging all eligible citizens to be #VoteReady ahead of these two national elections. Don’t wait until Election Day to make sure your vote counts.
The Registrar of Voters and California Secretary of State offer several resources to help citizens exercise their right to vote.
Voter registration applications are also available at the Registrar of Voters office in San Bernardino and throughout the county at post offices, city clerks’ offices, county libraries, and the Department of Motor Vehicles. A map of these locations is available on the Registrar of Voters website.
The deadline for registering to vote in the March 3 Presidential Primary Election is Feb. 18.
After that date, eligible citizens may conditionally register and vote by visiting the Registrar of Voters’ office, one of five early voting sites in the county during the week before the election, or any polling place on Election Day.
If you are still 17 years old today but will turn 18 by Election Day, you may pre-register to vote online or with a paper application.
If you are already registered to vote, the Board of Supervisors and Registrar of Voters encourages you to verify your registration status, including your political party preference, by using the My Elections Gateway tool on the Registrar of Voters website or the Secretary of State’s VoterStatus.sos.ca.gov website.
Your party preference will generally determine how you vote for candidates for U.S. President in the March 3 primary.
If you are registered with one of the six qualified political parties in California, you will receive a primary ballot with only your party’s candidates for president.
IF YOU ARE NOT registered with a qualified political party but want to vote for president in the primary, you have two choices you can make.
1. The American Independent, Democratic, and Libertarian political parties have agreed to allow you to vote in their presidential primary contest without requiring you to re-register with their party.
You can apply to receive a mail ballot containing the presidential candidates for one of these three parties by returning a postcard the Registrar of Voters mailed to all permanent mail ballot voters in early December or by calling (909) 387-8300 or (800) 881-VOTE (8683) no later than Feb. 25, 2020.
If you vote at a polling place on Election Day, you can request a ballot from one of these three parties when you show up to vote.
2. The Green, Peace and Freedom, and Republican parties have chosen to only allow their party members to vote in their presidential primary contests.
If you wish to vote in the primary for the presidential candidates for one of these three parties, you will need to re-register to vote and choose that political party as your party preference.
If you are not registered with a qualified political party and do not request a party ballot or re-register with a qualified party, you will receive a nonpartisan ballot for the March 3, 2020 primary that does not include any candidates for president.
All primary ballots will still include contests for other federal, state and local offices for which you are eligible to vote based upon your residential address.
The winner of each party's presidential primary will represent that party in the Nov. 3, 2020 Presidential General Election, when all voters, regardless of party preference, can vote for president.
For more information about how to vote for president, visit HowToVoteForPresident.sos.ca.gov.
For more information about registering, re-registering or pre-registering to vote, visit the Registrar of Voters website at SBCountyElections.com, or call (909) 387-8300.
Be #VoteReady and help make sure #SBCountyCounts.
(Curt Hagman is chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.)