Smart Voter
State of California June 2, 1998 Primary

Women's Issues

By Michela Alioto

Candidate for Secretary of State

This information is provided by the candidate
Itís a simple fact of todayís electoral system that young women between the ages of 18 and 45 vote less frequently than males in the same age bracket. Many women in this age group are know as "drop-off" voters: they vote in presidential years, but not in critical off-year elections such as our up-coming November election.
The fact that young women vote less frequently than young men has great ramifications for a host of public policy issues that affect women. Issues such as a womanís right to choose, the education of our children, and public safety are being disproportionately decided by men.

The incumbent secretary of state has done little to alter this situation. Overall voter registration has decreased for every major political party (except the Republican party) during his tenure.

Michela Alioto believes that we must make reforms in our electoral system that will lead to fairer representation for all Californians. Multi-day elections, same-day polling place registration, and permanent absent voter status are ideas that have been implemented in other states and will improve voter turnout here in California as well. Innovations in communications technology, such as on-line voter registration, on-line voting pilot programs, and other information services will also increase voter participation, particularly among young women.

Michela Alioto believes that if we hope to send the right message to the young women of California, we must lead by example. In her campaign for Congress in 1996, she was occasionally criticized for being "too young" for the job- a criticism that was not leveled at the scores of young men in their 20ís who have been elected. The right message to send to young women is that we can succeed as often as men, if we are tenacious and persistent enough. Unfortunately, there has never been a young woman elected to a statewide office in California to serve as an example of this fact.

The Secretary of State is the third-highest ranking official in the State of California, and as a result, can act as a spokesperson for the scores of issues that affect women in our state. As a pro-choice, Democratic woman, Michela Alioto understands these issues.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 7, 1998 22:48
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