Plan to vote? Register by Monday

The deadline is Monday for Californians to register to vote in the June 3 primary election.
Pick up registration forms at election offices, most post offices, libraries, city and county offices and online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm.

In the East Bay, a handful of key legislative and county races will be decided in June including two contested Contra Costa supervisor seats, state Assembly districts 14 and 15 and the state Senate post held by outgoing Sen. President Pro Tem Don Perata.

Statewide, two ballot propositions on eminient domain, Props. 98 and 99, are also on the ballot.

To be eligible to register, a prospective voter must be a U.S. citizen, a California resident and at least 18 years old by Election Day. People in prison or on parole for a felony conviction and people judged by a court to be mentally incompetent are not eligible to vote.

For more information in Contra Costa County, stop by the Elections Division at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez, call 925-335-7800 or visit www.cocovote.us.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters is located at 1225 Fallon Street G-1 in Oakland. Residents may also call 510-267-8683 or visit its web site at www.acgov.org/rov/.

In Solano County, reach the Registrar of Voters office is located at 675 Texas St. in Fairfield, call 707-784-6675 or visit www.solanocounty.com.

Read more for Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s helpful list of do’s and dont’s in the upcoming election. (Don’t blame her for the snarky comments; those are mine.)

— Double-check your registration information, including your political party affiliation. If you marked the wrong box, it will still be wrong if you don’t change it by the end of the day Monday and you will have no one to blame but yourself.

— Unlike the presidential primary, decline to state voters can vote in the primaries for the Democratic, Republican and American Independent parties. But if you don’t ask for a particular party’s ballot, you will receive a nonpartisan ballot with only nonpartisan races and propositions.

— Don’t try to bribe anyone to vote a certain way. It’s illegal and, well, just plain wrong.

— If you vote by mail, postmark dates do not count. Your ballot must arrive in your county’s election department by 8 p.m. Election Day or it will not be counted. Mail early or drop it off in person at your polling place or the election office.

— Intimidation of a voter is illegal, too. Don’t do it.

— Go to the right polling place. You can find it on your voting materials from the county or look it up at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_ppl.htm. If you show up in the wrong polling place, you can still vote but you will be given a provisional ballot that takes extra time to count.

— Have a favorite candidate? Keep your views to yourself within 100 feet of a polling place. Yep, electioneering at a polling place is also illegal, not to mention annoying and tacky.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen