Student government aids in voter registration and breaks down propositions


Books centered around information on voting displayed outside the El Camino Library on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The Associated Students Organization has been leading a “Ballot Bowl” initiative encouraging students to register to vote. (Brittany Parris | The Union)

As Election Day draws close, the Associated Students Organization has been focusing on providing resources to help students better understand the propositions and measures on their ballots and to assist in voter registration.

“Ballot Bowl” is a friendly competition between California’s community colleges and statewide universities to encourage and register the most students to vote.

El Camino College receives a point for each voter registration application submitted. As of Nov. 2, El Camino has received 51 voter registration points, while Bakersfield College leads with 131.

The Associated Students Organization Student Voter Project Committee and Political Science Club collaborated to host a virtual town hall meeting to help potential voters learn more about California’s propositions on Oct. 18.

The League of Women Voters Beach Cities Chapter were guest speakers providing unbiased information and resources regarding ballots, polling places and other election-related matters.

Outreach Librarian Camila Jenkin explains the use of The Media Bias Chart on Nov. 2 at El Camino College. The Media Bias Chart visualizes political bias and credibility among news organizations.
Outreach Librarian Camila Jenkin explains the use of The Media Bias Chart on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the El Camino College Library. The “Media Bias Chart” visualizes political bias and credibility among news organizations. (Brittany Parris | THe Union)

The town hall focused on the seven statewide propositions California voters will decide on Nov. 8:

  • Proposition 1 will focus on the constitutional right to reproductive freedom. It will ensure the right to an abortion and contraception.
  • Proposition 26 allows in-person roulette, dice games and sports wagering on tribal lands.
  • Proposition 27 allows online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands.
  • Proposition 28 provides additional funding for arts and music education in public schools.
  • Proposition 29 requires on-site licensed medical professionals at Kidney dialysis clinics and establishes other state requirements.
  • Proposition 30 provides funding for programs to reduce air pollution and prevent wildfires by increasing taxes on personal income over $2 million.

Along with the California propositions, there are two Los Angeles County measures that Californians will decide on.

LA County Measure A, if passed, will allow the LA county Board of Supervisors to remove the elected sheriff from office for cause.

Meanwhile, LA County Measure C will focus on cannabis business tax measures.

League of Women Voters’ Beach Director Jeanna Hamilton warned others to question the information they may receive regarding election information.

“Be very careful and be very skeptical about what you read in mailers that are mailed to your home or what you see in ads. Those are developed specifically for the purpose of trying to say whatever it takes to sway your vote,” Hamilton said.

The library also collaborated with the Student Voter Project, ASO and the Social Justice Center to focus on the importance of research and avoiding misinformation.

Librarian Gary Medina emphasized the importance of research because the ballot measures could be difficult to understand without them.

“I did a lot of research, not just for myself, but also for what we’re going to be talking about today”, Medina said. “By doing that, I got really clear as to what’s going on because some of these propositions that we looked at, they’re not very clear”.

Medina also said that students need to be wary of distortion tactics and commercials.

“Those are trying to placate our emotions and try to get into us, [pushing] buttons, so we go to one side or the other,” Medina said. “We might have our personal views, we might be very passionate about something, but it’s still imperative for us to understand both sides and where they’re coming from.”

Misinformation was also a pressing issue that Outreach Librarian Camila Jenkins said she is fascinated by, given how the majority of people’s lives are increasingly online and living in a digital world.

“I think just the merging of our online lives and our real lives is getting to the point where it’s so inter-tangled that we see online, ads, promotions, websites, it really influences the way we act and what we read, what we follow,” Jenkins said.

Election Day takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. while early voting is already available through Monday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. located in the South Gymnasium.