Cupertino, We Can Do Better: Register to Vote and Vote Regularly

In a recent article published in The.Ink, Anand Giridharadas interviews Daniel Ziblatt, a scholar and co-author (with Steven Levitsky) How Democracies Die (2018) and Tyranny of the Minority (2023). The interview is thoughtful and worth the read, but the salient point is addressed in the headline, “Want to Save Democracy? Watch Less Cable News; Attend More Town Meetings”. 1

One to add to the Strengthen Democracy To Do list: vote regularly.

Why should Cupertino residents vote?

In Cupertino, approximately 73% of all adult residents are registered to vote. Of the 73% registered to vote, only 60% cast ballots in the November 2022 General Election. Cupertino had a better showing for the November 2020 Presidential Election, with 88% of registered voters returning ballots. However, relative to several nearby communities, Cupertino residents are registered to vote at much lower rates. Residents of Campbell, Gilroy, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, and others have better voter registration rates than Cupertino.

When we choose not to vote, we lose our voices. In 2024, the rest of Cupertino joins the small sliver of the city that is part of California Senate District 13. CA SD-13 is centered in San Mateo County, where 84% of eligible adults were registered to vote for the November 2022 General Election.2 As Cupertino joins CA SD-13, we participate at a reduced capacity when our residents cannot be counted on to deliver votes or other campaign support for candidates on par with other CA SD-13 communities.3

Your vote makes a difference!

In 2018, 45 votes separated two candidates in Cupertino with very different political platforms and bases of support: one was elected to Council and the other was not. In 2022, the race for the Sunnyvale District 3 Council Member seat was decided by a draw by the County Registrar of Voters after two recounts confirmed a tie between the two candidates.

When we vote, we support democracy by ensuring that the winning candidates or measures are the ones with the broadest possible support. When voters sit out an election, we risk the total number of “non-voting” registered voters will be greater than the actual votes received by winning candidates, especially for local elections that do not have a primary.

March 5, 2024 Primary Presidential Election

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters commits to sending vote-by-mail ballots for the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election to all county voters no later than Monday, February 5.

The March 5, 2024 election includes:4

Proposition 1, added by the Legislature, that if passed would “[Authorize] $6.38 Billion in bonds to build mental health treatment facilities for those with mental health and substance abuse challenges, [provide] housing for the homeless”

Primary voting for:

  • US President
  • US Senator
  • US Congressional Representative
  • State Senator (odd numbered districts)
  • Member of the Assembly, including AD-26
  • Judgeships and County Central Committees

If you or someone close to you are eligible to vote, but not yet registered to vote, the last day to register to vote in the March 5, 2024 election is Tuesday, February 20, 2024 (postmarked registration or electronic submission). You may also register on election day by completing a form at a polling location; however, your vote will not be counted until your information is verified.

Find voter registration information here.

Not sure if you are registered to vote? Check your registration status, including the name you are registered under, here. You can also sign up to receive notifications from the Registrar of Voters when your completed ballot is returned.

Take steps in 2024 to strengthen democracy in our community. Step away from the screen and step forward to in-person, community meetings whenever possible. Register to vote or investigate options to become eligible for US citizenship. If already registered to vote, learn about candidates and ballot measures and take time to vote!

References

1 – “Want to Save Democracy? Watch Less Cable News; Attend More Town Meetings,” by Anand Giridharadas, The.Ink, 1/11/2024: https://the.ink/p/want-to-save-democracy-watch-less

2 – “Report of Registration as of October 24, 2022, Registration by County,” Office of the California Secretary of State, accessed 1/24/2024: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/report-registration/15day-general-2022

3 – “Final Maps Report,” We Draw the Lines, 12/26/2021: https://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/final-maps/final-maps-report/

4 – “March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election, List of Offices.” County of Santa Clara, accessed 1/24/2024: https://files.santaclaracounty.gov/2023-10/list-of-offices-03.05.pdf

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