Californians are often presented with daunting ballots and this year is no exception. Besides figuring out who to vote for President, Senate, Congress, Assembly, school board, judicial, community college board, etc., Californians are asked to weigh in on 16 state propositions and several county and local measures. I've been working through my mail in ballot for a couple of days now and have found deciding how to vote on the propositions a frustrating experience.
Yet there are resouces on the internet that can help you make sense of your ballot. Here is a site that really helped me on the propositions: California Journal - October 2004 - ballot propositions.
Another site that help me get more information about candidates running for school board or city council is sponsored by the League of Women Voters: SmartVoter.org.
And in some California counties, you can vote early by going to the County registrars office. Here is the information I found about Santa Clara county:
EARLY VOTING at the Registrar of Voters Office 1555 Berger Dr., San Jose (see the Registrar's webpage http://sccvote.org for a map.)
October 4 - November 2: Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm
October 23 & 24, 30 & 31: Saturday & Sunday, 9am to 3pm
If you live in California, make sure you have done your homework before you go to the polls. A number of the propositions are contradictory and confusing. Remember that part of making your vote count is making good choices up and down the line. In places like California where the issues put forth are complex, it pays to make sure you know what you are signing up for before voting yes or no.
And if you can, volunteer on election day to help as a poll watcher. (Especially important if your precinct uses touch screen voting machines.)
Update: Callimaco provides a link to calvoter.org where you can find out who backs each side on the propositions. And as paradox said in the comments if you don't know enough about the propositions, it's better to vote no than to be fooled by yet another badly written proposition which when implemented plagues Californians for decades.
Update 2: Shari provided another great link for helping make sense of the 4 health initiatives on the ballot: http://healthvote2004.org/