Eave is a direct mortgage lender. We are nonpartisan and not a political organization. You can learn more about us here. While it’s not our aim to push any one political agenda over another, we are grateful to live in a country where everyone’s voice can be heard. The 2018 midterm elections are important. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate, and governors in 36 states (including California!) are on the ballot.
Here’s what at stake in California and five things you can do to get yourself ready to vote.
What’s at Stake in California
The gubernatorial race
The governor is the head of the state’s executive branch. This means the governor has a lot of say over things like state budgets, and laws. They also have the power to appoint many state officials. In California, the current governor is Democrat Jerry Brown. He’s been in this role since 2011. But on November 6th, California will be voting in a new governor — either Democrat Gavin Newsom or Republican John Cox. You can read more about each candidate, including how they’ve voted in the past, their position on key issues, ratings, speeches, funding and more here.
In 2017, California passed a law stating that certain gasoline taxes must be set aside for road repairs and public transportation. If passed, Proposition 6 would repeal this — meaning the cost of gas would go down (because the taxes would be lower), but there would be less money available (because there would be less taxes collected) to pay for the designated road repairs and public transit. Lowering the cost of gas would help many, especially Californians who are struggling with the high cost of living. On the other hand, it could jeopardize the safety of bridges and roads because it would take away nearly $5 billion dollars each year from local transit funding. Some believe that taking these funds away would result in failure to improve transit, which could negatively impact congestion relief efforts, and potentially put the safety of those in cars at risk. You can read more about Proposition 6 here.
Several congressional seats are being voted on in the 2018 midterms. Many believe that these races are of the utmost importance. Congress is composed of two parts: The Senate and the House of Representatives (often referred to as just “the House”). Right now, both the Senate and the House have a Republican majority. To flip the Senate, Democrats would need to gain 2 seats. And experts in both parties believe the outcome on November 6th could determine control of the the House because all 435 seats there are up for grabs.
Californian’s will also elect 53 candidates to the House, one representative from each of California’s 53 congressional districts. You only get to vote for the representative running for the district you live in — not all 53. And since your your district is determined by your address, you may see a different name on your ballot from someone else you know in the state. To learn who is running for a House seat in your district, go here.
Five Things To Do before Your Vote:
(1) Find where and when you can vote
Enter your address here, to confirm your voting place and see the hours it will be open. In California, you can also vote early. You can find more information on where you can early vote here. If you need an absentee ballot (a great option if you can’t be at your polling station because you are traveling, sick, disabled, or for any other reason), go here.
(2) Find out what you need to bring
In some states (including California!), you don’t need ID; you can just state your name and address. Other states require ID, so if you’re voting outside of California, be sure to check your state requirements here.
(3) Arrange time off to vote
All states have laws allowing people time off from work to vote. In California, this law can be found in Cal. Elec. Code § 14000. The law allows up to 2 hours at the beginning or end of a shift, whichever gives you the most time to vote and takes the least time off from work. But you should know that time off is not required if you have enough time to vote during non-work time. If you do take time off form work, your employer must pay you for up to 2 hours. After that, any time off will be unpaid. Also, you need to request time off to vote in advance. The law requires you give your employer at least 2 working days notice before the election.
(4) Determine how you’ll get to you polling station and support should you need it
If you need a ride to the polls, check out Carpool Vote. They are a group of volunteers who drive those who need a ride to the polls. Lyft and Uber are also offering discounted or free rides on election day. If someone is giving you a hard time, you feel intimidated, harassed, or if you are turned away, call a voter protection hotline. And remember: Every state allows you to bring minors into the voting booth with you. So don’t worry if you have little ones in tow.
(4) Decide who you’ll for vote
BallotReady and Ballotpedia show you all the candidates on your particular ballot, what they support and who endorses them. Both tools are easy to use and have a ton of helpful information. Another thing you can do is research candidates who align (or do not align) with specific issues. For example, if your top issue is gun reform, you can use the Gun Sense Candidates look-up tool created by Moms Demand Action. A simple google search can help you plug into whatever groups are important to you. And finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know who to vote for — you should still vote! In fact, you can answer a few questions here, and learn which candidates align most closely with you.
Are you voting on November 6th? We will be. See you at the polls, California!