What to know about the ‘down ballot’ races when you vote

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There are an enormous number of candidates on the June 3 ballot. Just the statewide races include Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent for Public Instruction and various seats for California’s Board of Equalization. There are also two statewide ballot initiatives. But that’s not all! There are also all of the county by county elections in the state, so there’s much to study. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Do you recognize any of the following names: Akinyemi Agbede, Joe Leicht, Alma Marie Winston? No? They’re among the 15 people running for the state’s highest office, Governor of California.  There are eight more people running for Lt. Governor, seven candidates for Attorney General and eight on the ballot for Secretary of State.

The June 3rd election is just around the corner. It’s a day that political watchers say could set a record in terms of  low voter turnout in California. Many also fear that those who do come out to cast their ballots may not have sufficient information to make a smart decision about who they’re voting for, especially when it comes to so called “down ballot” races, these are the smorgasbord of political contests below higher profile races like governor and attorney general.

In our story below, we explore the lack of knowledge when it comes to one important set of candidates on the ballot and tackle the topic of whether some choices now given to voters should be in other people’s hands.

There’s still time to get informed about the candidates and the offices they’re seeking to fill. Increase your election IQ here.