When to vote: Polls are open from 7AM – 8PM on Tuesday, June 7
If you’re already a member of a political party, you have to vote for a candidate in that party. However, if you don’t have a party affiliation (and there are over 4 million people in California who don’t), you are entitled to vote in the primary for the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party and the Libertarian party.
If you want to vote in the California Primary for a Republican, you have to be registered Republican.
California has an open primary system. The two candidates that get the most votes advance to a run-off on the November ballot, regardless of party.
California’s Open Senate Seat
There are 34 candidates running to fill the open Senate seat left by Barbara Boxer. It’s a big number for one seat, and to make things even more confusing, the California ballot layout isn’t going to do voters any favors.
To get some clarity on what voters should expect, Press Play talked to Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director for the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA.
House of Representatives
There are some competitive races in the state, including up in Santa Barbara (you can read more about the 24th district candidates and listen to them debate, here.) Remember, California is a top two primary state so the leading candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will be on the November ballot. (More here).
LA County Board Supervisors for the 2nd, 4th and 5th districts
“It’s this incredibly powerful board,” said professor at Loyola Law School, Jessica Levinson. The Board of Supervisors controls a huge budget, and many aspects of life in Los Angeles County. They oversee county hospitals, transportation and a lot of health and safety issues. There are three open seats, and only two are contested. “The reason we have any open seats is because we’re now just feeling the implementation of term limits that were in place years ago,” said Levinson.
Incumbent Mark Ridley Thomas is running unopposed
Ralph Pacheco, Governing Board Member, Whittier Union High School District
Janice Hahn, United States Representative
Steve Napolitano, Supervisor’s Senior Deputy
Rajpal Kahlon, Real Estate Investor
Ara James Najarian, Mayor of Glendale
Billy Malone, Town Council Member Altadena
Darrell Park, Educator/Budget Specialist
Kathryn Barger, Chief Deputy Supervisor
Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Granada Hills
Elan Carr, Criminal Gang Prosecutor
Bob Huff, Businessowner/State Senator
LA County District Attorney
Jackie Lacey won her seat last time around, and is running unopposed. You can read or listen to KCRW’s interview with her here.
Superior Court Judges
At some point, many Angelenos will encounter a judge whether it’s traffic court, a child custody case, a lawsuit or even jury duty. Judges wield enormous power. In Los Angeles County alone, there are 400 Superior Court judgeships. This election year, seven of those seats are being contested. (For a full statewide list, go here.)
There’s one proposition on the June ballot. From the Los Angeles Times, which has a good explainer: Proposition 50 is a constitutional amendment giving the California Legislature the authority to suspend members without pay on a two-thirds vote. Currently legislators can only vote to suspend with pay. But up until 2014, they never had even done that.
Professor of Election Law at Loyola Law School and Vice President of the LA Ethics Commission Jessica Levinson told Press Play that this was put on the ballot in response to a series of scandals, in which state senators either lived outside the district, were accused of taking bribes and the state senate realized, you can’t pay people if they’re suspended.
Also, you can follow Dean Logan, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Twitter for real time election updates and information.
Still want more? Find KCRW’s California election coverage online right here.