California Secretary of State Shirley Weber and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta hosted an event in Fresno state on Tuesday to discuss the importance of protecting and expanding voting rights, with a panel of students political leaders and professors.
âThe biggest challenge we face now is getting our young people to vote,â Weber said. Only 30% of voters aged 18 to 36 participated in the last election, panelists said.
âThey should really get involved in the whole democratic process, which is learning that the vote is important, that you should vote in every election,â Weber said. “I want young people to understand that this is the power they have.”
Huerta said she admires the passion many young adults show in marching and organizing protests, but said young people need to understand that real change only happens at the ballot box.
âThe problems facing society today cannot be solved if young people do not vote for laws that cannot be implemented and enforced,â Huerta said. “The students here have a tremendous amount of power just because of the numbers that are here on this campus and I hope they are really exercising the right to vote and not just that but get their families, their friends, get everyone to come.” hereâ¦ “
Universal postal voting is now permanent in California
To help broaden voter turnout, Newsom signed 10 voting-related bills on Monday, including one making universal postal voting permanent.
California now joins Colorado, Oregon, Hawaii, Utah and Washington in providing mail-in ballots to voters across the state for county, state and national elections.
âPeople have more access to the vote and it will be an easier process and then they will vote more often,â Weber said.
“As states in our country continue to pass undemocratic voter suppression laws, California is increasing voter access, expanding voting options and strengthening election integrity and transparency,” Newsom said in a statement.
Weber says recall process needs to be changed
In the most recent election – Gov. Newsom’s attempt to recall earlier this month – about 13 million registered voters in California voted. This equates to a turnout of around 62%, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Weber responded to complaints from critics on both sides of the issue regarding the “fairness” of California’s recall process.
âThat it was fair, it was just because it was what the Constitution demanded,â Weber said.
But discussions are now underway on updating the state’s recall rules.
“We are now in the process of forming a group that will basically help us rewrite the Constitution with regard to recall elections,” Weber said.