It is nothing less than a citizen’s duty and honor to participate in our electoral process

It’s Special Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Today, the voters in California’s 1st Assembly District will decide who will represent them in Sacramento — Republican Megan Dahle or Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt, filling the seat left vacant when Dahle’s husband, Republican Brian Dahle, won election to the 1st District State Senate seat.

Betancourt and Dahle received the most votes in California’s Top-Two, Voter Nominated Aug. 27 Special Primary Election to earn a spot in today’s special election.

Betancourt collected the most votes (38.6 percent, 35,167 votes) last August. Dahle finished second with 35.6 percent, 32,427 votes. Republican Patrick Henry Jones gathered 18.7 percent, 17,010 votes, Lassen County’s Republican Joe Turner received 5.2 percent, 4,751 votes and Republican Lane Rickard earned 1.8 percent, 1,674 votes.


Vote for the candidate of your choice

The Lassen County Times does not endorse candidates or issues up for election. The people who are governed should make those decisions, and we all must accept the wisdom of the voters and support their decision. It is nothing less than a citizen’s duty and honor to participate in our electoral process.


Your vote matters

Let’s be real. The chances your single vote will determine the outcome of any single election are nearly astronomical. According to a survey by economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter, who analyzed more than 56,000 congressional and state elections since 1898, only seven elections were determined by a single vote. And two were tied. While a 1910 congressional race in Buffalo, New York was decided by a single vote, the researchers found the median margin of victory was 22 percent in congressional races, and it was even higher — 25 percent — in state legislature contests such as today’s special election.


Why should you vote?

Elections have consequences, and by voting you exercise your opportunity to set the course of the ship of state. Candidates have different ideas about the direction we should follow, and voting lets you have a say on how we proceed.

If you don’t vote, you abdicate that power to those who do cast a ballot. Learn about the candidates and vote.

Candidates in the legislature make decisions about how our tax money is spent. This is your opportunity to have a voice in these vital decisions.

Many elections are called the most important in history, and that’s hyperbole most of the time. But having said that, voting gives you the opportunity to select the best person for the job, creating change or maintaining the status quo.

Don’t forget, our Founding Fathers risked everything — and pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and the sacred honor — when they signed the Declaration of Independence to create the nation and give all of us the right to vote.

We should not take that gift for granted and ignore our civic obligation to cast a ballot.