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Santa Barbara attorney encourages client to register to vote by taking case pro bono

A Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney took an unusual step for democracy this week.

Doug Hayes encouraged one of his clients to register to vote. In exchange, Hayes took on his case for free.

Hayes said he is discouraged by the political climate in America these days.

“It’s been a constantly ringing alarm clock to all of us Americans who have been complacent, who’ve enjoyed the privileges and wonders of our country without taking the responsibility of being a citizen, and that is really starting to upset me,” he said.

During a consultation with a client, Hayes learned that his client wasn’t registered to vote.

So, Hayes made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“I said, ‘I tell you what, I will do your case for free if you will register to vote and vote,'” Hayes said.

Hayes even helped his client register online and told him where to go to cast his ballot.

However, Hayes said he did not tell his client how to vote or who to vote for.

“I don’t know how he voted, but I know he’s participating and that’s what’s important,” Hayes said.

Hayes shares his office with his daughter Annie Hayes, who is also a lawyer.

She often posts videos of her dad’s musings on her Instagram page, and her dad is very popular among her followers.

“You know he’s just trying to get the word out. He has a lot of opinions about a lot of things, and one person can make a difference, and that’s something he feels strongly about, as do I,” she said.

Hayes says he believes one vote makes a difference.

“Every little thing that any of us can do, any little thing is important. It’s not just important to get a result that we might like.” he said.”It’s important because it makes us feel like citizens.”

In California, you can register to vote and vote on Election Day.

For more information, click here.

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