Understanding the 2020 Ballot | Mechanics' Institute

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Understanding the 2020 Ballot

The November 3 election ballots arrive in mailboxes this week! If you're one of the lucky folks who have received yours, MI reference librarians have assembled a list of unbiased resources to help you navigate this year's long and complicated ballot. 

Voters will decide on 12 statewide measures and a host of local propositions, depending on where you reside. Your votes matter now more than ever. Together, we have the power to chart the direction of our communities and for our country. 

California Secretary of State Voter Information Guides has the 2020 General Election ballot, online voter registration (it's not too late if done by October 19), ballot tracking instructions, and information on how to find your polling place (should you choose to vote in person) all available in a variety of languages. 

Calmatters, a Sacramento-based nonprofit, nonpartisan state news organization has shared its 2020 Voter Guide with libraries. The guide is easy to navigate, breaks down each state ballot proposition, explains California's role in the presidential election, and identifies key races by district. You'll find a variety of interactive tools, including brief videos and games to help you make an informed choice. A detailed section for frequently asked questions will provide answers on voting and registration.

Easy Voter Guide is a collaboration of the League of Women Voters, the California State Library and the Common Knowledge Group. You can download the helpful voter information guide in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. It has information on the statewide and local propositions, as well as the pros and cons for each measure. 

KQED Election 2020 has unbiased information and explanations of all the California propositions, including information on local propositions by county. 

League of Women Voters has unbiased explanations of ballot measures as well as a detailed list of pros and cons for each ballot in both English and Spanish. If, after reading through the ballot measures, you are still not confident about how to vote, the League has a helpful section on their Ballot Recommendations. The League of Women Voters is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations to support and inform voters. Each year, the LWV posts an Easy Voter Guide including an in depth look at what's on local ballots by zip code. 

Vote Smart has a wealth of factual information on politicians, political candidates, including voting records, where they stand on issues, bios, speeches, and campaign financing. 

Voter's Edge was created by the California State Library. By entering your address, you'll get a personalized page with contests that will appear on the user's ballot, including candidate priorities and biographies, ballot measure explanations, endorsements, funding sources, news articles and additional vetted resources.

Posted on Oct. 8, 2020 by Celeste Steward