CA midterms 2022: What to expect on the ballot, how to vote

As Californians fill-out their ballots, KCRW answers your questions leading up to November 8. How does California’s new permanent mail-in ballot system work? What are the key races and propositions? 

Which candidates and issues are on the 2022 midterm ballot? 
Registering to vote
How to vote

Which candidates and issues are on the 2022 midterm ballot?

Key statewide races:

Governor: Gavin Newsom is running for reelection and is facing off against Republican Brian Dahle.

U.S. senator: Democrat Alex Padilla is running against Republican Mark P. Meuser in two races. One is to decide whether Padilla will finish his current term after being appointed to fill the seat vacated by Kamala Harris when she became vice president. The other is for a full six-year Senate term. 

Attorney general: Incumbent Democrat Rob Bonta faces Republican Nathan Hochman. 

Statewide initiatives:
Seven statewide propositions will be put to the voters. They include:

  • Proposition 1 would amend California’s constitution to include the fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.
  • Proposition 26 would allow in-person betting at certain horse racing tracks and tribal casinos.
  • Proposition 27 would allow California tribes to operate online sports betting away from tribal lands.
    Check out KCRW’s reporting explaining who’s in favor and who’s against Proposition 26 and Proposition 27, and why.
  • Proposition 28 would provide approximately $1 billion in funding to arts and music education in public schools.
  • Proposition 29 would require kidney dialysis clinics to have a licensed, medical professional on-site.  
  • Proposition 30 would allocate between $3.5 and $5 billion in tax revenue to support zero-emission vehicle and wildfire prevention programs. 
  • Proposition 31 would reaffirm a 2020 law that bans the sale of certain flavored tobacco products such as vapes and cigarettes.
    Check out KCRW’s reporting explaining who’s in favor and who’s against Proposition 31, and why.

Key LA races

Mayor, sheriff, supervisors and City Council seats.

Learn more about LA’s race for mayor through KCRW’s interviews with California Congresswoman Karen Bass and billionaire businessman Rick Caruso

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva faces off against former Long Beach Police Department Chief Robert Luna. What challenges does each candidate face?

Multiple LA City Council seats are up for grabs. Read these key takeaways about each race

Following the LA County Board of Supervisors race in the third district? Check out our interviews with Lindsey Horvath and Bob Hertzberg

Some Angelenos will also be voting for new LAUSD School Board members. The race in District 2 pits nonprofit director Maria Brenes against policy advisor Rocio Rivas, while the contest for District 6 places current school board president Kelly Gonez in contest with high school teacher Marvin Rodriguez. 

Voters in Hollywood and the Eastern San Fernando Valley will decide whether to re-elect U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, who is up against Silver Lake Neighborhood Councilwoman G. “Maebe A. Girl” Pudlo. Both are Democrats. Check out KCRW’s recent conversation with Schiff, where he talks about whether Democrats can keep the House this November. 

Incumbent Republican Congressman Ken Calvert faces Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, in the race for District 41. The area includes communities such as Riverside, Corona, and Norco.  

In Orange County’s 48th congressional district, Republican Michelle Steel is defending her seat against Democratic challenger Jay Chen. 

Angelenos will also weigh in on two housing-related ballot propositions — measures ULA and LH. Each seeks to increase LA’s stock of affordable housing. 

Get a personalized ballot by submitting your address below. 

Registering to vote

Eligible voters must be U.S. citizens, California residents, 18 or older by election day, and not deemed mentally incompetent by the courts. 

The last day eligible Californians can register to vote is October 24, 2022. 

If you miss the deadline, it is still possible to apply for conditional voter registration, also known as same-day voter registration. This can be done on-site at a voting center, county elections office, or polling place. 

Don’t know if you’re registered to vote? Check your status online on the California secretary of state’s website. If you don’t have a driver's license, state-issued ID, or a social security number, you can contact your local county elections office or the California secretary of state. 

If you’ve moved since the last election, you will need to update your voter registration to reflect the change.

How to vote

California sends registered voters a mail-in ballot no later than October 10. Once filled out, ballots can be sent by mail (no postage necessary) or dropped off at a secure drop box. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by November 8 and be received by November 15. 

Residents can also vote in-person at a local polling place or vote center. 

Track whether your ballot has been counted via the Where’s My Ballot tool. 

Don’t know who to vote for? 

Check out who the California Democratic Party, the California Republican Party, and the California Green Party, and the Democratic Socialists of America are endorsing during the midterms.

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