How to Vote for Bernie Sanders in California.

UPDATE 4: Only 17? You CAN vote in the California Democratic Primary if you will turn 18 by November 8, 2016. See details on how below.

UPDATE 3: Away for College in another State? You CAN vote in the California Democratic Primary either in California or from the state where you’re enrolled in college!

UPDATE 2: Military overseas? You CAN vote in the California Democratic Primary by requesting a ballot here:

Update 1: Working during voting hours? Your employer must legally PAY YOU UP TO TWO HOURS and allow you to take sufficient time off at the beginning or end of your shift to vote.

NOTE: I’m only walking through online instructions here. For more info go to http://voteforbernie.org/state/california/

California, home to nearly 40 million people, 4 of the country’s largest 15 cities and, most importantly for the Bernie Sanders’ campaign, 475 unpledged Democratic delegates up for grabs - excluding unpledged “Superdelegates” which can’t pledge until the Democratic National Convention in late July — holds the penultimate and arguably most important Democratic Primary of the 2016 Presidential Election on June 7th.

This is because America’s most populous State has the power to flip the Democratic Primary on its head in terms of both the delegate lead, as of this writing around a 250 deficit for Sanders, and popular vote, which stands at around a 2.7 million person gap right now — which doesn’t take into account the hundreds of thousands of not-counted provisional ballots nationwide or the millions of disenfranchised independent voters, the largest voting block in the USA today which favors sanders overwhelmingly. Bernie Sanders needs the leverage of EITHER the popular vote OR the delegate lead (but both would be nice) before the July convention in order to be able to convince “SuperDelegates” there to switch proportionally to support him — and California, believe it or not, has the power to give Sanders both if we show up in record numbers.

But California has a semi-closed Primary system, meaning independent voters CAN vote alongside Democrats, but all have to take extra steps by May 23rd, well before the June 7th Primary date to ensure their vote counts.

A double-digit win in California is a realistic goal for the Sanders campaign given the incredible upward trend for him there — the most recent poll released has Sanders in a tie with Clinton after surging 12% in less than 18 days from being down by double digits (14%) on April 3rd. But it won’t happen without every eligible Bernie supporter canvassing, phone banking, sharing on social media, registering to vote and ultimately VOTING!

Here’s how to vote:

Verify your voter registration.

  1. Go to https://eservices.sccgov.org/rov/
  2. Select “Look up Voter Registration” and input the information requested.
  3. If you are registered you should receive a notification that looks like this:
Note that it tells you that you are registered to vote and the county info

Register. (if you’re already registered, skip to the Vote section)

  1. Go to http://registertovote.ca.gov/
  2. Fill out the information in the forms until you get to the Political Party Preference section.
  3. For independents wishing to vote for Bernie Sanders:
Select “No, I do not want to disclose a political party preference”

4. For Democrats wishing to vote for Bernie Sanders:

Select “Yes, my political party preference is Democratic”

5. DO NOT select anything else or your vote won’t be counted.

After you submit your registration I recommend you Check your current status often up until June 7th to make sure you’re not accidentally “purged” as has happened in so many other places.

Vote.

VOTING EARLY (In Person): Anyone can vote early in-person from May 9 — June 7th, and while it’s you have to do some digging, you can get specific information on where to vote early in-person in your county here:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/county-elections-offices/

I’m voting early on May 13th in Santa Clara County because there have been so many election day “issues” that affect likely Bernie Sanders voters that I would like to get it done early, and I don’t trust that my ballot won’t get “lost” in the mail if I do mail in.

VOTING ABSENTEE (By Mail): Anyone can vote by mail until May 31st — meaning they have to RECEIVE your mail in ballot by May 31st. You can download, fill out & mail that ballot any time you like here: http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/vote-by-mail/pdf/fill-in-vote-by-mail-app-instruct.pdf

VOTING ON PRIMARY DAY (In Person June 7th): Obviously most people will do this, but I recommend voting early in person if you can. Regardless you just need to show up to your local polling place on June 7th, which you can find here:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/

NOTE: Be sure to bring California ID! Either a Drivers License or photo ID plus proof of residence (bills mailed to you showing your address etc) should suffice.

If this is helpful to you please share far and wide on social media! EVERYONE who wants to vote for Bernie — even currently registered republicans — has the opportunity to register as a Democrat or “no party preference” and get their vote counted. We need to win California in a landslide, and we have the opportunity to DO JUST THAT.

Want to get more involved? The most effective method to win votes is to get out there and Canvass (I do! — it’s fun):

http://volunteerforbernie.com/Canvas/

And if you can’t do that, an easier method and actually the second most effective method to win over undecideds is to Phonebank (I do! — it’s easy):

https://berniesanders.com/phonebank

More information is available at http://voteforbernie.org/state/california/

Join the National and California communities on Reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident

https://www.reddit.com/r/CaliforniaForSanders

Let’s get out there and shock the world. Mobilize!

In solidarity,

Michael Ludden