Register to Vote!
If you have never registered before, or if you have moved since you last voted, you need to register to vote.
California Voter Registration Form at the CA Secretary of State.
Ideology and Party Match
If you are new to voting or just want to see how you match up, here are some resources to help you figure out where you are ideologically, and which party matches best with your values.
The non-partisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has a political party quiz, which will match your beliefs with a political party.
A nice graphic representation of the differences between the left and the right in contemporary American politics at informationisbeautiful.
Which states have the most Republicans, and which have the most Democrats? Slate and New America Foundation have a map.
In Fall 2012, Californians have 11 initiatives to make a decision about.
Read about them at the CA Secretary of State's Website.
A nice breakdown, including the endorsements from newspapers and other organizations is done by the UC Berkely IGS. Another useful site is California Choices, a joint venture of several universities (including the CSUS Center for CA Studies) and Next10, which has an easy graphic interface (click on "Ballot Measures" at the top).
Smartvoter, done by the non-partisan League of Women Voters provides information about initiatives and all races on your ballot.
Ballotopedia has a nice breakdown of the measures, complete with supporters, opposition, donors, polls, and lots of description.
The California Legislative Analyst's Office works for the legislature in a non-partisan policy analyst role. They produce analyses of ballot measures' potential impact.
Basics on the Candidates
A new app/ website called politify.com lets you calculate the financial impacts of the Obama plan vs. the Romney plan. You can see the impact for you personally, your local area, and the country as a whole.