Secretary of State Alex Padilla and RISE Speak with Kings Team Members About the Importance of Voting

Education and change begins from within.

On Wednesday, the Kings Diversity and Inclusion Council and COO Matina Kolokotronis hosted a conversation with California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla and both  Diahann Billings, CEO and Shadoe Tarver, Vote Program Manager of RISE.

Secretary Padilla provided insight into voter registration, including the importance of voting, history of voting and current issues that surround voting in our nation. Diahann and Shadoe of RISE, a national nonprofit that works year-round to educate, engage and empower communities to exercise their right to vote, provided an overview of how to register to vote and along with resources to help prepare for what’s on the ballot in November. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Padilla first noted the available resources for voting in California ahead of the Nov. 3 election, including the state’s recent transition to mail-in voting. Now you can track your ballot to know where it is in the process and be notified when your vote has been received and counted.

"How do you make your voice heard through the political process? It’s through your vote," said Secretary Padilla. "If the last four years have taught us nothing else, [it’s that] elections matter and election results have consequences."

Secretary Padilla then shared insight into how the Black Lives Matter movement, discrimination, and racism has affected how California has combated voter suppression, stating, "we work so hard in California to make it as easy as possible, because in other states it’s not as easy."

"If you didn’t think your vote was important, or that your vote mattered, then why are certain people trying to take it away from you?” Secretary Padilla asked.

As an added bonus in the presentation, Shadoe Tarver from RISE walked the group through the online voter registration process with Turbo Vote and in less than five minutes, Kings Team Members were ready to register.

Additionally, he shared resources to help voters educate themselves on candidate platforms, such as VOTE411.org, and have an outlet to ensure inclusion in the Democratic process with the Election Protection Coalition Hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE.

Launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, VOTE411.org is a "one-stop-shop" for election related information. It provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information in the election process.   

The national, nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, the Election Protection Coalition uses a wide range of tools and activities to protect, advance and defend the right to vote.

The outcome of the hour-long conversation was that here are no excuses. 

California has made the voting process seamless. It doesn’t matter if you vote by mail, or in person at Golden 1 Center as long as you make your voice heard.  

Voting is one of the most important things we do as Americans and the Kings are committed to encouraging civic participation.

Register to vote today and cast your ballot for the Nov. 3 election.