Your last-minute voters’ cheat sheet (for Orange County, CA)

(Tuesday, 11/8/2016)  Want to miss the crowds? Haven’t figured out all 17 propositions yet? Don’t know where your polling place is?  No worries. . . we’ll show you how to do your civic duty with wisdom and ease.  Just scroll through our Election Day FAQs below.  Your answer awaits:

Where’s my polling place?  If you live in the OC, click here, enter your residence address, & hit return.  If you live elsewhere in the U.S., click here, enter your address & hit return.

How late are the polls open?  8 pm.  If you’re in line at 7:59, they’ll stay open until you’ve voted.

I don’t have time to figure out all the propositions!  30 second solution: Vote yes on 54 (Prevents last-minute switcheroos in Sacramento & promotes transparency, the only “yes” JM & I agreed on) & either vote no on everything else (based on the fact that propositions are almost always produced privately by special interest groups) or just leave everything else blank.  3-10 minute solution:  Scan through the ballot titles & descriptions in your sample ballot while you wait in line, if you totally agree with a proposition with no questions whatsoever, vote “yes,” if you have any hesitation, vote “no,” & if you’re not sure leave it blank.  For more on the propositions, click here & scroll down for my progressive colleague JM Ivler’s take.

How do I vote on Cypress Measure GG?  If you own the Racetrack, vote “Yes” and double your property value overnight.  If you don’t own the Racetrack, vote no to 1) preserve your right to vote on futue zone changes on the property, and 2) to  avoid a massive up-zoning of 150 acres in the heart of town with absolutely no traffic mitigation but lots of misleading, expensive flyers & robo calls.  If you attend SeaCoast Grace Church, do what Jesus would do, out of love for your neighbors and yourself & your community vote no despite the land bribe being offered to the church if it passes.  A little “better located” property isn’t worth bulldozing the historic Ranch House & dealing with even more crowded roads and schools for as long as you live in Cypress.

How do I avoid long lines?

Today: Off peak hours are usually 10-11:30 and 2-3:30.

Next time:  Become a permanent vote-by-mail voter by clicking here, selecting,  “Become a permanent vote by mail voter” from the drop down labeled “Choose a type of application”), completing the online form, then printing out, signing, & mailing in your application.  We did, and even if we wait until election day to vote we can complete the form at home, then skip to the front of the line on election day to drop it off at any OC polling place.

Who do I vote for for City Council?

Los Alamitos:  Do what the Register recommends and vote for Richard Murphy, the only truly independent candidate, completely self-funded & the only Council Member in 20 years to be elected Mayor unanimously. . . twice in a row!  If you want to vote for one more candidate, vote for Josh Wilson if you’d like to see a slightly younger City Council with a the fresh perspective of a young businessman and father.  Or, if you’d prefer no change on the Council and like Dean Grose & his plans to sell City Hall and move it to a leased location on the Base, vote for him.

Cypress:   Tough call., but the truth is it doesn’t matter unless you want to make a statement, since the two incumbents are pretty much sure to win.  That said, you’ve got two incumbents who have the Register’s support as well as the support of the two Racetrack owners, and two new faces who oppose Measure GG, are independent, and pretty inexperienced.

If I lived in Cypress I’d pick one of each: Mayor Mariellen Yarc, who’s helped reduce the too high zoning on Lincoln, and Giselle Blanco, who many think is the most viable of the non-incumbents.  If I just wanted to make a statement I might vote for the two non-incumbents.  That said, the two incumbents do a pretty good job overall, and have both demonstrated commitment, diligence and relative competence.  But not total independence from local business interests.

Who do I vote for for President?  If you don’t have a clear preference, or want to make a statement, leave it blank.  Truth is, here in California our vote for President doesn’t count except for the “beauty contest” popular vote total.  Which is why the electoral college should be abolished and the President be elected by popular vote.

Why do I have to choose between two Democrats for Senator?  California now has “top two” voting for state offices, meaning the top two finishers in the June primary move on to the general election in November, and the top two were both Democrats.  My best informed Democrat friend  isn’t real happy with the choices:  he says Loretta Sanchez was a Republican once and is a “blue dog” type Democrat, while Kamala Harris is more of a “corporate” type Democrat.  No Bernie among them.

Pick your poison, but it probably won’t matter because “corporate” Kamala seems to be spending the most money & also has the support of the President, who once famously proclaimed her to be “hot.”   Not the smartest thing for a married man to publicly proclaim of a woman he’s not married to. . . so I will refrain from commenting on the President’s evaluation of Ms. Harris.  Anyway, if this was a beauty contest, Trump might be running it, and. . . do we really want to go there?

What about everything else?  “When in doubt, do without,” & leave it blank.  If you’d just like to level the playing field, vote against the incumbents.  Or for the last name in each category, if it’s not an incumbent.

One thing NOT to do is use that “slate mailer” [ad] that’s posing as recommendations from a legitimate group targeting your gender or party or age group, like “Women for safer neighborhoods” or “Reagan Republicans for Freedom.”   These all have a box somewhere with all capital letters indicating they’re paid ads sold to the highest bidder.  One of the “Republicans for…” slate mailers I received had positions on several propositions that were the opposite of the official Republican Party’s position.  In fact, the best thing to do is to toss any election advertising in the recycle bin immediately, or use it to line your bird cage.  Unless it’s produced by a local neighborhood group or an organization you respect, it’s got way more deception, exaggeration & half truth than truth.   Like all those Yes on GG flyers put out by the Racetrack.

Finally, whether you vote for every item on the ballot or just a few you deeply care about, thanks for making the time to vote. God bless you. . . and God help America!

This column was written by Editor/Contributor Dave Emerson and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my and more liberal colleagues here at LosAlNews.


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