A Voter Guide for the Busy Professional

By Guest Blogger Caity MapleCaity Maple

Holy crap, is it over yet?

This whole never-ending-election-cycle business is really cramping my style, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been ready for this debacle to be over for about a year now.

But, here we are.

We’ve got 14 days before the big showdown, and we’re going to need to muster up the strength to do the damn thing. Given the fact I have many friends with lingering questions on the who, how, what, where and when of voting, I figured I’d put together a quick guide for the busy professional.

Because let’s face it, we’ve got lots of other really important stuff to do and not enough hours in the day.

Get me registered!

This is SUPER important. Monday, October 24th (as in today!!) is your last chance to register to vote before the election. So, you need to do it, and do it now.

You can do it online at registertovote.ca.gov and even by text message by texting “HELLO” to 384-387. Gotta love technology. And of course, you can always do it in person by visiting your county election office, in Sacramento that is located at 7000 65th St # A, Sacramento, CA 95823.

Remember that if you’ve moved, you need to re-register to be able to vote!

What the heck are my voting options?

Luckily in California, we’ve got a few options at our disposal. Of course, you can always go to your polling place and do it in person, and then you get a rad “I Voted” sticker. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m — if you’re in line by 8:00, then you have a right to vote.

You can find your polling location online by asking google (they’ve got a easy search box that pops up), but also on the Sacramento County website. If you don’t have easy access to the interwebs, you can always call (916) 875-6451 to find out.

If you’re a “vote by mail” voter, then you should have already received your ballot in the mail — yay! You can fill that out and put it in the mail with two stamps, take it to the county election office, take it to a drop box at City Hall (915 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814), or even to your polling place and get your sticker.

PLEASE don’t forget to sign the back of your vote by mail envelope, this could disqualify your vote if you don’t.

What if I have issues, or feel intimidated?

Here’s the deal: it’s against the law to hinder or intimidate any legal-age citizen from voting. Period.

This can manifest itself in a variety of forms, but the important part is if you feel discouraged from voting in any way (either by a friend, poll worker, law enforcement, anyone), then you should call one of the many hotlines available to prevent and address voter intimidation.

You can dial:

(866) OUR-VOTE (English)

(888) VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

(888) API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)

Note that you have the right to “redo” your ballot if you make a mistake, the right to an accessible ballot if you have a disability, and the right to paid time off to vote by your employer.

You can learn about all of your voting rights here, and most importantly…


Caity Maple serves as the Vice President of the Fem Dems of Sacramento, and is an election nerd, women’s advocate and champion for change.

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