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Buena Vista library brings the party for Election Day in Burbank

Burbank voters on Tuesday were greeted with free pins, empanadas and ice cream in celebration of the democratic process.

Local businessman John Bwarie teamed up with the nonprofit Civic Nation to host a voting party at the Buena Vista Branch Library, which is a polling place for several voters in the city.

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Bwarie said he wanted to make voting more fun and to commemorate democracy with those who did — or didn’t — vote.

“There’s four precincts that come vote here, so what better way to support and encourage folks to celebrate election day,” he said.

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“We’re not rewarding people for voting. Anybody that comes by today can participate. It’s just a way to make voting fun,” he added.

Councilman Jess Talamantes visited a few polling places in the morning, including the Buena Vista Library, and said he was happy to see so many voters getting involved in the process.

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum people lean toward, the councilman said every person should vote and be a part of making important election decisions.

“Every vote counts. Don’t tell yourself that you’re just one vote and that it doesn’t matter,” Talamantes said.

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“Every year, there’s been [items] decided on a matter of less than 100 votes,” he added. “I encourage everyone to come out. Your vote counts just as much as the next person’s.”

Burbank resident Kate Springthrope was one of the many who voted at the Buena Vista Library.

She said voting during this midterm election is crucial because of what’s at stake, especially with so many state races and measures on the ballot.

She noted that California voters are picking a new governor, lieutenant governor, state secretary and controller, among other positions.

Springthorpe said these are all elected officials who will have some kind of impact on almost every person in the state.

“These are things that affect us directly,” she said.

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Springthorpe added that, although it’s a rather divisive time in the United States, she thinks the country will be unified as long as people continue to participate in the democratic process.

“Even though it’s a challenging time right now, and we’re all fighting each other, we’re going to come together,” she said. “There might be some arguments, but we’re going to come together.”

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