Get Informed with APU’s Guide to the Polls

by Micaela Ricaforte '20

Propositions, ballots, and polls...oh my! Whether you’re a returning voter or a first-timer, trying to navigate through election season can be tricky and overwhelming. That’s why the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) will host a Ballot Proposition Overview to help inform the APU community of the ballot initiatives and how they could impact the state. This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Los Angeles Pacific College (LAPC) boardroom. The presentation will be recorded and posted on YouTube shortly following the event. The last ballot overview, which centered around the 2016 presidential election, drew a full crowd and garnered more than 4,000 views online.

CLAS Dean Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D., emphasized the importance of voting in midterm elections, specifically in California. “Democracy is hard work,” Walsh said. “It takes hard work to be a citizen in a free democracy, but it’s well worth it, especially in California. Western states have more ability to make a direct impact on initiatives. We get to choose our own laws.”

This year’s ballot includes propositions concerning tax policy, housing rent control, kidney dialysis treatment, and property tax. Walsh said that the event’s main purpose is to give attendees an unbiased overview of each proposition. “We take a strict non-partisan approach, and do not attempt to sway the attendees to vote a certain way,” she said. “With each proposition, we examine its political party support, and look at who’s supporting and opposing the ballot and why, to see if any groups are funding the initiative out of self-interest.”

Walsh highlighted some things to watch for on the upcoming ballot. “The U.S. Senate race, the congressional races, and the race for governor are all important things to follow because they directly affect the future of California.”

Walsh gave some suggestions for those intimidated by the voting process. “Of course, we are never going to have perfect, complete information about these topics, but what I would encourage voters to do is listen to their instincts and vote according to their values,” Walsh said. “Whether we vote or not, we are all affected by the outcome. So I think we should all have a say.”