More ways and more days to vote

More ways and more days to vote

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Your ballots for the March 2020 election are coming this week. As we head into election season and a second cycle under the Voter’s Choice Act here in Napa County, we the Community Leaders Coalition and the Voters Choice Napa (VCN) committee would like to acknowledge the efforts happening across the county.

In 2018, the Napa County Registrar of Voters, John Tuteur, took bold steps to pilot the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) in Napa County. The act identifies and targets underrepresented voter populations such as youth and young adults, language minorities, people with disabilities, and seniors. It provides more convenient methods to vote, more time to vote in advance of election day and also by involving the community in the development of an election administration plan that determines how elections run.

Over the past two years Voters Choice Napa, an advocacy committee dedicated to reaching the goals of the VCA, partnered with Mr. Tuteur to ensure that underrepresented voters in our County have a voice and provided outreach and education to the community as Mr. Tuteur’s office worked diligently to transition the county into this new method of voting.

Today, we would like to acknowledge our productive partnership with the Registrar’s Office and highlight some of the impactful changes made for the 2020 election cycle:

-- There will be 11 ballot drop boxes across the county where voters can return their completed ballots. In 2020, the Registrar of Voters agreed to add two additional drop boxes. One will be located at the Napa Valley College main campus. The VCN is particularly proud of having tirelessly advocated for this drop box to send a message to youth about the importance of voting. The second new drop box is in American Canyon in the Walgreens parking lot on the east side of Highway 29. For a list of all 11 drop box locations please visit countyofnapa.org/2355/Drop-Box-Locations.

-- Voters with disabilities can vote via the Remote Access Vote By Mail System (RAVBM) that enables them to access and print their ballots securely from modified technology at home. Mr. Tuteur has partnered with service providers across the county to provide training on the use of RAVBM and to ramp up outreach.

-- A commitment to having bi-lingual staff and volunteers at vote centers on Election Day to ensure all of the county’s eligible voters have access to assistance. If you are bilingual Filipino-Tagalog or Spanish speaking and able to volunteer, please contact the Elections Division (elections@countyofnapa.org or (707) 253-4422).

-- The Registrar’s Office has made a commitment to redesigning election mailers to make important information clearer to voters.

The right to vote is an integral part of our democracy and is frequently taken for granted, so we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Registrar and his staff for all of the important work they are doing to ensure a secure and convenient election for all of Napa County’s voters.

We would also like to thank Napa Valley College for funding the purchase of the drop box on their campus and the city of American Canyon, particularly Mayor Leon Garcia, for helping to secure the location for the additional drop box there.

We also have deep appreciation for the Community Leaders Coalition and Voters Choice Napa members who continue to advocate for underrepresented voters in our county. It is a privilege to be a part of a community with so many leaders dedicated to democracy.

The VCN will continue to do outreach to get out the vote for the March elections. Remember, there are more ways and more days to vote in March. Find more information at: countyofnapa.org/396/Elections.

Stephanie Davis

Voters Choice Napa/Community Leaders Coalition

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Approximately 87,000 Napa County residents are eligible to vote. Yet nearly more than a third did not participate in the November 2018 elections. However, in recent years, more than one race here Upvalley has been decided by a margin as small as 50 or 60 votes.

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