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Patricia Skinner Sulpizio: Democrat and Decline-to-State voters guide

Democratic Voices

Posted: June 1, 2010 2:02 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Next Tuesday is Election Day.
The Democratic Party welcomes Decline-to-State voters to vote in the primary. Make your vote count.

Exercise your right to vote for all primary candidates and request a Democratic ballot. Otherwise, Decline-to-State voters will receive a nonpartisan ballot with nonpartisan offices and propositions only.

The following are endorsed or recommended by the California Democratic Party, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party or the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley.

Because they're important, but get the least attention, the judicial and local offices are listed first.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge:
Office 28:
Mark K. Ameli

Office 35:
Soussan Bruguera

Office 107:
Valerie Salkin

Office 117:
Alan Schneider

Office 131:
Maren E. Nelson

Assemblymember 38th District:
Diana Shaw

Los Angeles County Assessor:
John Noguez

U.S. Representative, 25th Congressional District:
Jackie Conaway

Governor: Jerry Brown

Lt. Governor: Janice Hahn

Secretary of State: Debra Bowen

Controller: John Chiang

Treasurer: Bill Lockyer

Attorney General: Ted W. Lieu

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones

State Board of Equalization, 2nd District: Chris Parker

U.S. Senator: Barbara Boxer

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson

Proposition 13, earthquake safety measure: Allows for seismic retrofit without an automatic property tax reassessment. Seismically retrofitted buildings are safer for everyone. Vote "yes."

Proposition 14, "top two" primary: Removes the right for political parties to choose primary candidates. To quote Stephen Colbert, "It'll put the two richest guys" on the ballot. Vote "no."

Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act: Nonpartisan voluntary campaign finance reform. Vote "yes."

Proposition 16, utility power grab: Funded by PG&E, it has nothing to do with protecting your right to vote. Vote "no."

Proposition 17, the insurance rate hike initiative: Funded by Mercury Insurance to protect its interests, not yours. Vote "no."

The following local Democratic Alliance for Action (DAA) Club members running for the Party Central Committee would appreciate your vote: Isaac Liebermann, Carole Lutness, Nick Zigler, Lynne Plambeck, Kristin Ingram-Worthman, Richard Mathews, Bruce McFarland and Michael Kulka. You may vote for seven.

For the statewide June 8 primary election, registered voters received by mail an Official Sample Ballot, one per voter; an Official Voter Information Guide, one per household; and vote-by-mail voters received a mail-in ballot.

These three pieces are the only official ballot materials produced by either the California Secretary of State or the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

If you haven't received ballot materials, check your voter registration status at To be eligible to vote in the primary you must have registered by May 24.

You can still apply to vote by mail, but you must do it today. At, click "Vote by Mail." Fill out the electronic vote-by-mail application and submit it online before midnight.

To ensure it's received on time, mail your vote-by-mail ballot by Friday.

At you can register to vote, locate your polling place, view your sample ballot, track election results and apply to be a poll worker.

Poll workers are always needed. Anyone 16 or older may apply and earn up to $175.

Contributing to the electoral process is fascinating and gratifying. I've done it and recommend it.

You need not be ill or out of town to vote by mail. Voting by mail, or permanent vote by mail replaced the words "absentee voter."

Permanent-vote-by-mail voters have many advantages. You don't have to reapply.

A ballot will automatically be mailed to you for every election in which you're eligible to vote.

Permanent-vote-by-mail voters avoid inconveniences like long lines, parking or getting to the polls on time.

You receive election materials early, allowing extra time to review them.

You're covered for any contingencies that might keep you from the polls on election day. Mail your vote-by-mail ballot by the Friday before election day or drop it off at the polls.

Download a permanent-vote-by-mail application at

Who can register to vote? Any U.S. citizen 18 or older, or who will turn 18 by next election day, who hasn't been declared mentally incompetent by a judge and is not in prison or on felony parole.

Who must re-register? Anyone who moved, changed their name or wants to change parties.

Beware of slate mailers, a for-profit business. An asterisk means candidates and ballot measure backers paid to be included. Read carefully.

They aren't paid for or endorsed by your party unless clearly stated.

Watch for names designed to fool you. The Council of Concerned Women Voters is not the League of Women Voters.

Voter Guide Ballot arguments and candidate statements are not written or approved by the Secretary of State.

Patricia Skinner Sulpizio is a Valencia resident and delegate to the California Democratic Party. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Democratic Voices" appears Tuesdays in The Signal and rotates among several SCV Democrats.


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