(En Español) As we register people across the county in preparation for this year’s Presidential election, we often hear, “I don’t vote because I’m not into politics.” We understand. Voting is about citizenship and participation. We, as voters, should be inspired to participate in voting, not blamed or shamed for not voting.
There are some amongst us who cannot vote whether they are aspiring citizens who have lived here for years or our own children, so our vote will elect a leader that will make policy that will impact not only our life, but those who live in our community.
Vote for what inspires you. Do you know someone who cannot vote? Ask him or her how they would vote if they could. What inspires them? Is it issues like better education for our children or a particular candidate that is in touch with people in our community? When you ask others who may not have the same right as you, there’s a chance you will be inspired to vote. Take my recent encounter with a young man in his early 20s.
During my time registering people to vote in the community, I met a young man in his early 20s who had just become a citizen and the first thing he did was register to vote. He said, “I’ve been waiting to vote for a long time. Not necessarily for me, even though that is important, but for my mom, my siblings, and my friends who can’t yet vote. I’m voting this year for all of us and the things that are important for our lives.”
Through our outreach program, we registered voters in public and private high schools, and many community events throughout Dona Ana County. Thus far, we have registered over 700 people just in our outreach efforts who now have a voice in this year’s election. And we are excited to have them, and hope that they are inspired to make voting part of the rest of their lives.
Your vote is your power – don’t give it up! There are people in our community and all around the world who want to vote but can’t for various reasons. So if you can vote, I hope you show up at the polls on election day and use your power to vote. We can make voting about people again, and inspire others to vote for lasting change.
This year, EVERYONE VOTES IN DONA ANA COUNTY!
Successful 2016 Primary Election
The foundation of increasing voting in Doña Ana County starts with managing successful elections with trusted results.
A successful election requires sufficient planning, successful execution and implementation, and experience to manage the hundreds of moving parts. Each election requires countless hours of planning, training, managing staff and resources, testing equipment for accuracy, knowledge of the law, and problem solving on election day.
Our staff works long hours during elections, many of us sacrificing time with our families and loved ones, to make sure that we have a successful election. There is no such thing as a perfect election so we must always be ready to anticipate problems and solve them immediately. Knowledge of the law is essential to ensure that each decision abides by the law, and prioritizes fairness.
A successful election also requires voters. This year we launched our outreach plan in Spanish and English to educate and inform voters across Doña Ana County about the voting process and how they can participate. Through our efforts we registered over 700 people, including over 300 people in our local high schools. We also partnered with community members to create the first Election Advisory Council to make increasing voting a community effort.
Over 24,000 people voted in this year’s primary election. For the first time ever, 17-year-olds, who will be 18 in November, were able to cast their vote in a primary election. We also opened our doors on Memorial Day for people who wanted to honor the veterans who died for our freedom. 460 people voted on Memorial Day.
This year we provided user-friendly sample ballots on-line. People could make their selections on-line and then print the ballot to use as a reference in the voting booth. It was mobile friendly so people could also access it while in line at the polls. We partnered with both the city and county bus lines to provide free bus fare to take people to the polls, including Dial-A-Ride. We used tablets to sign people in as they waited in line, reducing their wait time. Finally, we provided an on-line tool that informed people about the length of lines so that they could choose to vote at the most convenient voting center for them.
We are proud of the staff, election officials, and all of the partners in our community who work tirelessly to make successful elections happen for voters in Doña Ana County. We are convinced that we are all making a lasting difference in our community that will transform lives and our future. We will do our best to make every vote count with successful elections, and you can make a difference when you show up every election day and vote. In the words of John F. Kennedy, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”