Well, it is once again election season. Primaries are taking place across the country. The usual political pundits are ramping up. I see more and more Republicans commenting on social media talking about politics and politicians they may agree or disagree with.
Here is what I do know: Keyboard wars serve no one. Facebook fighting over policies does nothing. I hear people use the excuse they have “no time” – whether it be to work out, to volunteer, or to do something to better themselves or the community. I think to myself, “Really?”
This is from those same people who waste a lot of time on social media politically arguing with others. They get nothing done that is meaningful and actually productive. To be fair, many people have the heart and mind to help but they just don’t know where to start.
Here is how you can make a difference: Vote and vote early. Do not wait to election day to take your ballot into a polling place. Complete your ballot as soon as you receive it and track your ballot here: california.ballottrax.net/voter.
The sooner your ballots get in, the better. Waiting until election day is a hazard.
Volunteer to help a specific local campaign. Show up to local school board meetings. Walk your own neighborhood delivering door hangers and insuring Republicans are voting. Phone/text bank. Calls are made to prospective voters through phone banking sessions leading up to the 2024 election. Support local Republican candidates directly through their own websites. Take your neighbor to vote, or have a voting party where people bring their completed ballots. Participate in mailing campaigns.
There is something for everyone. The question is, will you get activated and engaged?
The following offices are up for election this year:
• 27th Congressional District – Rep. Mike Garcia.
• 40th Assembly District – Patrick Gipson challenging Democrat incumbent.
• 23rd Senate District – Suzette Valladares/DJ Hamburger vying for Scott Wilk’s seat.
•5th Supervisorial District – Kathryn Barger running for reelection.
• City Council – Jason Gibbs, District 3; and, District 1, no incumbent.
• Sulphur Springs Union School District – two seats.
• William S. Hart Union High School District – Erin Wilson Area 4; and, Area 1.
• Saugus Union School District – Matt Watson, Area 4; and, Area 1.
• Newhall School District – Area 4; Area 5.
• College of the Canyons – Areas 2, 3 and 4.
• Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency board – Peter Orzechowski, Ed Colley, Gary Martin, Ken Petersen.
• Castaic Union School District – two seats.
• District Attorney– George Gascón must go! Vote Jonathan Hatami!
For those complaining about the current state of affairs in our county and country, here are some sobering facts. In the last election cycle, in a non-presidential year, too many Republicans stayed home. I guess a little rain was too much for some people to face, as evidenced by the following statistics:
Of the 328,000 registered total voters in the SCV, Republicans make up 94,000; Democrats, 139,000; and 94,000 are “other.”
Sixty-one percent of Republicans turned out to vote, compared to 54% of Democrats. Of the total ballots returned, 57,000 were from Republicans and 74,000 from Democrats. Democrats in the 40th Assembly District outvoted Republicans by 17,000 votes, while roughly 37,000 Republicans stayed home and didn’t vote.
Given sharp political divisions in the United States, small changes in voter turnout from election to election have BIG consequences.
We know this because Suzette Valladares unfortunately lost her re-election campaign by less than 600 votes and we have the chance to right that ship in this election cycle.
I have heard the excuse that people don’t vote because they think their vote “doesn’t count.”
Your vote DOES matter. As discussed above, in close races, a very small number of votes can make a significant difference.
Furthermore, even if a single vote may not sway an entire election, voting has symbolic value. It represents your civic duty and sends a message about your individual beliefs and priorities.
Many people fought hard to ensure the right to vote for all citizens. Voting honors those who came before us to protect democratic principles. Individual votes collectively shape the democratic process and contribute to the functioning of a representative government.
I would argue that voting in Santa Clarita is even more important due to our relatively small size – the votes that are cast carry even more weight and are more influential.
The bottom line is this: Republicans cannot win elections if Republicans don’t vote. Republicans cannot have the dismal turnout they had in the last election, or we are doomed.
Get your ballots in early for the March 5 primary, and contribute something productive.
Denise Lite is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.