By Toni G. Atkins
Ever since we lost our national treasure, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I have been touched and moved by the tributes that have come her way: the flowers from ordinary citizens that have piled up outside the Supreme Court. The stories from fellow judges and clerks about her diligence and compassion in approaching the law. The people lined up for hours just to pay their respects. Social media has also been filled with posts in her honor—including some of my favorites, the ones pointing out that the best way for us to pay tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg is to vote. One of the reasons it is so important for us to vote is to counter the misinformation and intimidation that we are seeing deployed against people who are simply seeking to exercise this most basic right.
With the election fast approaching, there are several things we can do to make sure our vote is counted. First, of course, is registering. The deadline to register for the November election is October 19. California law does allow voting by provisional ballot for people who register after that deadline, but there’s no time like the present to sign up and get it done. The San Diego County Registrar of Voters website at sdvote.com has a lot of valuable information on how to vote safely and securely, including the latest word on County ballot drop-off locations and how to track your ballot to make sure it has been recorded.
California has also taken steps to protect survivors of domestic violence and stalking who want to register to vote, but need to keep their home addresses hidden. If someone you know is part of California’s confidential address program, Safe at Home, or you know someone who should be, please share with them that there are ways to register to vote confidentially. The Safe At Home program has a toll-free hotline 877-322-5227 for more information about registering and about this important program in general. I think Justice Ginsburg herself would be pleased at this ability of survivors to reclaim and exercise rights that others would have denied them. And that reminds me of maybe my favorite post that I’ve seen about her: When you vote, tell them Ruth sent you!
Looking for even more ways to honor all that RBG stood for? Volunteer to be a poll worker this year—there are ways to serve safely even during this pandemic, and you can help ensure the rights of others are being upheld at this critical time in our nation’s history. You can sign up at www.pollworker.sos.ca.gov.