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You may have noticed that there’s an election coming up... but before the election, you need to make sure you’re registered to vote: the deadline in California is October 22, 2018!

“It couldn’t be easier,” said Jacque Casillas, community & government relations manager at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. “The website is: Vote.gov.”

In this election, the issue of your reproductive health care is front and center.

“It’s important to vote and to protect your access to reproductive health care — it’s on the line,” Jacque said.

Our Community and Government Relations teams are at the forefront of the push to engage voters.

“It’s as scientific as we can get it,” said Neal Ortiguerra, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest’s director of political action. “The messaging is specially crafted, and so is the way we try to reach the voters. There’s phone banking, and canvassing; we have a lot of volunteers helping us. We’ll try to call every one of our supporters.”

Additionally, three Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) groups on college campuses are getting out the vote. They meet at San Diego State University, UC Riverside, and UC San Diego campuses.

The PPGA group at San Diego State received a “Club of the Year” award twice.

“They’re really active,” Neal said. “They educate about Planned Parenthood; they’re focused on reproductive justice; they get speakers; they got a grant. They’ll be activating their networks and getting registered voters to vote.”

Riverside is one of the fastest growing counties in the country, and Jacque — who works out of the Riverside health center — notes that new residents may need reminders to register:

“It takes 2-3 years before a new resident re-registers to vote. We relocate a lot around here. People don’t think to update their voter registration,” Jacque said.

“We’re always telling our patients to check their health status and ‘Get yourself tested,’” she said. “Why not tell them to ‘Get yourself registered’?”

Jacque pointed out that our heath center staff are literally fighting for people’s rights every single day. “They’re on the front lines. We shouldn’t squander our power by not voting.”

“It’s important to check your voting status and to get friends and family to do that too,” Neal said.

5 Things You Can Do to Prepare for the Election:

  • Go to Vote.gov and make sure you’re registered to vote!
  • Go to Vote.gov with friends and family and help them register, too
  • Commit to bringing at least one family member to the polls
  • Volunteer with your favorite organization to help them get out the vote
  • Make yourself aware of the people and the issues you’re going to vote for at: sdvote.com (in San Diego County); voteinfo.net (in Riverside County); co.imperial.ca.us/regvoters/ (in Imperial County)

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