Matthew Phillips – Copy Editor
As we hurtle towards the Nov. 6 midterm elections, there are only a few days left for new voters to register. The deadline for online and mail-in voter registration have already passed, but new voters are still able to register in person until 5 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Clark County Elections Office in Vancouver. After that date, it will be too late to vote in the midterm, which will include electing senators and representatives to represent our voices in Washington D.C.
A five-minute drive from Clark College’s main campus, the county election office is located on Franklin street just north of the county courthouse. The registration process itself takes less than 10 minutes if there is no line. New voters only need to bring a state issued ID such as a driver’s license or their social security number to register and fill out a single sheet of paperwork.
It is a simple process, but an important civic duty.
With the deadline approaching, the elections office is swamped daily with new voters trying to register. If you still need to register to vote, it is best to do so sooner rather than later, as Oct. 29 is the busiest day for registrations, according to county election officials.
Prospective voters should not let the long lines, confusing election information, or the disheartening lack of decent candidates discourage them from voting.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey encourages voters to make what’s important to them known known. “If you want your voice to be heard, you have to vote. That’s the way change happens. Elected officials reflect the values and opinions of their supporters and their voters,” Kimsey said. “If you want your voice to be heard, take that power and use it.”
Equally important to registering to vote, is for voters to inform themselves about the federal, legislative and judicial candidates and ballot measures being voted on. Luckily, there are many resources available for voters to get essential information about the election.
The website of the Washington secretary of state offers a number of resources for voters, including breakdowns of the candidates and legislative measures in a number of languages, audio files describing candidates and legislation and a video voter’s guide that explains the pros and cons of each ballot measure as well as providing an introduction of candidates.
Inquisitive voters may also be interested in data offered by the Federal Election Commission and the Washington state Public Disclosure Commission, which both allow public access to campaign financial records for national and state candidates, respectively. These records enable citizens to see which individuals, corporations and organizations have been paying money to place their preferred candidates in power.
The political situation in the U.S. may be undesirable for many at the moment, but an informed and voting populace can change the tide. On their own one vote and one voice may seem small, but together our voices can form a chorus chanting for change that cannot be ignored.
This election day, vote and make your voice heard.
Clark County Elections Office
1408 Franklin St, Vancouver, WA 98660
Open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.