Local Politics

Monday, Jun 02 2014 10:00 PM

It's time to vote! Here's how.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Yes, it's been a pretty sleepy primary. But actually, there are a lot of interesting, impactful races on Tuesday's ballot -- most intriguing, believe it or not, a county assessor's contest.

We're picking finalists to run in several statewide offices including governor as well as always competitive westside state Assembly and congressional seats and the aforementioned assessor's post (though someone could win that one outright).

We're also being asked to decide on a veterans housing bond measure and open records law.

So you're now jazzed to participate, right? Here's how:

When can I vote?

Polls are open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Tuesday. You can also drop off a ballot during those hours at a vote-by-mail drive-through, drop-off site on N Street just south of Truxtun Avenue (the side of the county administrative center).

Where do I go?

Your polling site is listed on a postcard and the back of the sample ballot mailed to you. You also can find yours online at Elections.co.kern.ca.us using the "Your polling place" link or by calling Kern County elections at 868-3590 or 800-452-8683.

What should I bring?

You don't need an ID unless it's the first time you're voting in a federal election and you registered by mail. Nor do you need a pen or pencil. Make a "cheat sheet" with your choices pre-marked for reference.

When's the best time to go to the polls?

Officials recommend mid-morning or mid-afternoon to avoid long lines that usually form before and after work times, and at lunchtime.

Tell me again how the new-ish primary system works.

The open primary means people can vote for whomever they'd like, regardless of their party, and the top two vote-getters will face off in November, no matter what their party affiliations are.

But you still only get to vote for one person in each race.

In the county assessor race, if someone receives a majority of the vote Tuesday, he will win the seat outright and there won't be a runoff in November. If nobody gets a majority, there will be a runoff.

What if I still have questions?

Again, the Kern County elections office can be reached at 868-3590 or 800-452-8683.

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