Politics, government and public life for Southern California

What you need to know to register to vote online in California

Presidential Primary Election

Grant Slater/KPCC

Gregory Park enters a polling place at La Puerta Abierta Fellowship in Glassell Park on June 5, 2012.

California's Secretary of State has launched an online voter registration process. Here's what you need to know:

I want to register to vote online. What information do I have to provide?

The link for online registration in English and Spanish is https://rtv.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote/

That website has links to forms for other widely-used languages, but those must be printed out and mailed in.

You'll need to provide name, date of birth, address, and an ID number such as your driver's license, California ID or the last four digits of your Social Security number.  You don't have to select a political party when registering to vote.

What's the last day to register online in time to vote in the Nov. 6 general election?

October 22.

Where can I check to see if I'm already registered to vote?
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/

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At long last, Maxine Waters gets her ethics hearing

Mercer 20547

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-LA) on Friday will hear the result of an investigation against her by the House Ethics Committee.

Friday is the last workday for Congress before members return to their districts for the election homestretch. That's the day the House Ethics Committee picked to finally hold a hearing on charges against Congresswoman Maxine Waters — nearly two years after the committee's first attempt to take up the case.

The 11-term Democrat from South L.A. is accused of using her political influence to help a bank in which her husband owned stock. But the investigation has been delayed by allegations of impropriety and political gamesmanship that led to the departure of two staffers, committee members recusing themselves from the investigation, and the hiring of an outside investigator.

On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee announced the long-awaited hearing on the matter, a scant six weeks before the election. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: mayoral debate, DWP rates, donations to city attorney

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

Four of the top candidates running for mayor, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, debated last night in Hollywood.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Thursday, Sept. 20, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

With the pending sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa does not appreciate questions on when he first learned of the sale, which blindsided just about everyone else in City Hall.  "I’m the mayor. I knew. I’m the mayor, and I knew. Let me be clear about something — I’m the mayor and I knew," KPCC reports. The Los Angeles Times quotes Councilwoman Jan Perry as saying, "I do not like to be surprised. We are all supposed to be working together."

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House vote on GOP immigration bill would allow more foreign-born grads to stay in US

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of El Monte is fighting a proposed bill that would create a visa program for high-value college graduates at the expense of an existing visa program.

There are precious few hours before Congress leaves town until after the election. They still have a funding resolution to pass to keep the government going, and they'll name a few post offices. But there's also an immigration bill likely to get a vote Thursday — one sponsored by Republicans.

The bill by Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas would make it easier for graduate students from foreign countries to remain in the United States after getting a degree. There's a catch: their major must be from one of the so-called "STEM" areas — science, technology, engineering, or math.  

Smith is chair of the House Judiciary Committee. His bill is designed to prevent the brain drain of foreign-born, U.S.-educated scientists and engineers who return to their home country because of the difficulty in obtaining work visas. Up to 55,000 visas would be designated for such candidates.

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Young voters: Are you liberal on Facebook, but conservative in the voting booth?

Arroyo High students visiting Duarte High

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Arroyo High School students Raul Del Cid, 17, Vennis Hong, 16 and Rocio Payan, 17, chat at Duarte High School, site of a forum on negative political advertising.

I got to hang around at Duarte High School Saturday night with about 200 students from San Gabriel Valley area high schools at the Arsalyn Youth Forum to engage young people in civic life. The topic was negative political advertising.

I brought examples from the four most famous negative political ads I could think of — the 1964 LBJ Daisy ad, the 1988 Willie Horton ad, the 2004 Swiftboat Veterans for Truth ad and the Demon Sheep ad from Carly Fiorina's 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called Fiorina's "the attack ad so bad, nobody wanted to believe it was real."

A young woman asked why people who loudly express their political opinions don't often listen to others' views. In response, I asked the audience who among them had unfriended someone on Facebook after seeing a political comment they disagree with. A lot of hands went up. And that question got us talking more about social media and voting.

High school senior Addison Hu, governor of the Arsalyn Youth Forum, told me that young people get a lot of peer pressure to express liberal sentiments on social media like Facebook, but when they become voters, they might vote more conservatively.

Do others feel this way? If you're age 17-23, tell KPCC about your own involvement or avoidance of politics and voting. It's confidential, and a KPCC journalist will write you back.

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