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Every Vote Counts!

Both Democrats and Republicans have had long and well-publicized campaign seasons for this Presidential election, and both of the front-runners have yet to acquire enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the convention.

California will likely be the state that will secure the amount of delegates for the front runners for both of the major political parties. Still, many voters are saying they’re dissatisfied and confused by the long process.

“Political parties are not democratic institutions,” said former mayor of Thousand Oaks and Pierce College Political Science professor Ed Jones. “It gives the impression that they are when you see all these primaries.”

The party rules governing the system have been slowly developed in the course of our country’s history.

“Political parties are not mentioned in the United States Constitution, the only major political element that isn’t,” Jones said.

The nomination process has evolved, from party leaders choosing the candidate they believe has the best chance to win the election, to voters having their voices heard in a primary.

“The process has become more representative,” said Los Angeles Valley College Political Science Professor Anthony O’Regan. “It has become more democratic. It does reflect the will of the people, but it is the will of the people within the political party.”

California’s registration deadline is May 23, giving voters more time, not only to register, but also pick a party affiliation. This should help avoid the problems of voters being disenfranchised because they are not registered or registered improperly, as has happened in other states.

“We won’t have necessarily the issues that they had in New York, because in New York you had to be registered six months prior to the election date in order for you to cast a ballot,” said Los Angeles Democratic Party Vice-Chair Mark Gonzalez.

The California primary election takes place on June 7. California residents can find out how they can register and where to vote on the California Voter Information Guide at http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov.

“Your voice is your vote,” Gonzalez said. “We still have time for folks to register. People are engaged; they’re excited; they’re at rallies and events. And I think it’s important for everybody to just realize: it’s just simply about the vote.”

Moderator: October Primavera

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