The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

Vote411: A new voter platform in California

Vote411%3A+A+new+voter+platform+in+California
Isa Garcia

People tend to get discouraged from doing things they are unfamiliar with, from embracing those 2024 New Year’s Resolutions to hot topics like Biden vs. Trump, the uncertainty and unsettling prospect of what might occur circulates one’s decisions. When delving into unfamiliar territory, one unfamiliar topic that many students will experience for the first time is voting in the 2024 presidential election. Recent voting has seen a significant lack of turnout. An NPR poll in the 2020 presidential election found that 29% of the 80 million people in the U.S. did not vote because they were not registered, 16% felt their vote did not make a difference, and 10% did not know who to vote for. However, in the digitized 21st century, there are many solutions created to resolve these problems, such as various websites on the internet that promote election information. One closest to home in Claremont is the California Vote 411 program.
The Vote 411 program is a national election information guide that has information on candidates running for local, state, and federal elections. This website recently switched from Voter’s Edge to Vote 411, under the League of Women Voters of Education Fund, to continue its legacy of providing accurate voting information about the ballot. Here in Claremont, the Mt. Baldy League of Women Voters has been an active group in working with other League volunteers to invite all candidates to post their info on the site and engaging with Vote 411. The Mt. Baldy League of Women Voters has chapters in the Claremont Colleges’ 5C League of Women Voters and Claremont High School’s Legion of Voters where they initiate power and advocacy nationwide with women’s empowerment. This grassroots organization utilizes local volunteers to provide free, nonpartisan election information on candidates.
Marcia Yaross, Member of the Mt. Baldy Area League of Women Voters and their volunteer local coordinator for the Vote 411 program, has organized and helped the League to ensure the local candidates running in 2024 can utilize Vote 411 to the fullest extent. Yaross highlights the importance of California Vote 411 to the local election through providing information to the voters and helping campaigners spread information.
“Sometimes when you call these candidates, it was the candidates who answered, or sometimes it was their campaign offices,” Yaross said. “There are people who are well funded and also people who are more grassroots based, and this way they are all asked the same questions [from Vote 411] and have the same opportunity to post their data.”
People may not realize this, but numerous elections happen at the local level. Examples include California State Assembly and Senate, Mayors’, and Councilmembers’ seats. Individual votes are the most important in creating change in local elections. Vote 411 is used in California and across the fifty states for personalized information based on the voters’ location. In 2024, where people strive to accomplish their goals, it is also essential to recognize the goals to increase change and speak up for issues in the world. Vote 411 provides access for all citizens to gain election information and stay updated. Claremont High School students can use these resources to pay attention and participate in changes that affect this community. Volunteers like Marcia Yaross have helped make voting more accessible in Southern California, encouraging everyone eligible to sign up, register, and research. Students at CHS have the potential to play a part in creating change and opportunities such as Vote 411 can be the starting point of a new movement of youth voting and representation.

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About the Contributor
Fiona Wu, Reporter
Fiona Wu is a sophomore at CHS and a first-year reporter on The Wolfpacket staff. This year, Wu is balancing many items on her plate, including her position on the school's Junior Varsity Volleyball team, speech and debate, and her newly created Voter’s Turnout club. Currently in school, Wu’s favorite subject is history and she is looking forward to spending the next school year with her teachers and classmates. Outside of school, Wu has dedicated her time to setting up her Voter’s Turnout Club, attending speech and debate tournaments, and pursuing her interests in the humanities. Wu looks forward to her first year in The Wolfpacket, especially attending the late nights.
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