CALIFORNIA, USA — The final wave of California's election season culminates with a November showdown deciding the future of the governor's office, the state's U.S. senate seat, the attorney general's office and more.
This year, Governor Gavin Newsom, fresh off his recall election win in 2021, is vying to keep his job as the state's top Democrat and lock in another four years as governor. His opponent is Brian Dahle (R), a legislator from rural Northern California. However, even with some voters souring on Newsom's performance, some say it'll take a miracle to actually unseat Newsom in a very blue California.
Attorney General Rob Bonta, who was appointed to the position after Xavier Becerra was tapped for President Joe Biden's cabinet, will also be trying to fend off Republican Nathan Hochman to remain California's top law enforcement official.
Also at stake are seven propositions ranging from abortion rights to a referendum on flavored tobacco. Closer to home, some cities are trying to sway the voters to help them either pass new taxes, arrange additional funding, or help address the homeless crisis.
Here's what to know as you cast your vote:
New District Boundaries
One of the most important things to know about the election is that the game has changed a bit in regard to some districts.
This is the first time Californians are voting in candidates for the newly drawn Congressional, State Assembly, State Senate contests, among others. For more information on the new district boundary lines, visit the website of your local elections office.
Where to vote and drop off ballots
Voters should refer to their local county elections office to find where is the proper location for a voter's polling location. You can also text "VOTE" to "GOVOTE" (468-683).
Voters can choose to cast their ballot at a polling place or by mail.
For most counties, voters can mail in the ballot, drop it off at the county office, or wait until Election Day to drop it off at the nearest polling location. In most cases, Californians do not need to show ID when voting.
Voters can also receive alerts as to where their ballot is in the counting process by signing up with the feature, Where's My Ballot?
You can view the map below to see the redistricted areas as well.
What's on the ballot?
There's no shortage of candidates for this year's election. Nearly every ballot is casting a choice for the following:
- Governor and Lieutenant Governor
- Secretary of State
- Attorney General
- Insurance Commissioner
- Member, State Board of Equalization
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction
- US Representative in Congress
- State Senator
- State Assembly Member
Some offices might vary depending on the district the voter is in.
Races to watch
It might take a miracle to unseat Governor Gavin Newsom in this heavily Democratic state. He fended off a recall election and is trying to lock in another four years as the state's top Democrat. However, Republican legislator Brian Dahle is calling on people who are unhappy with what's been going on in California to "give him a shot." He's been in the legislature for 10 years and said he's worked across the aisle to get things done.
Incumbent Attorney General Rob Bonta overwhelmingly took the lead in the primary election, gathering 54% of the vote. However, concerns over crime have kept Hochman in the conversation. Hochman has offered to debate Bonta many times now, but so far nothing has been scheduled.
California's 3rd Congressional District:
This hotly contested race pits Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who challenged the governor in the recall election, against Democrat Dr. Kermit Jones. Both are seeking to represent the newly drawn 3rd District. The Cook Political Report currently has the seat as "Likely Republican."
California's 9th Congressional District
Back in 2018, Congressman Josh Harder was able to cruise to victory after his opponent lost backing from the state Republican party. He's looking for a repeat win as he moves to the new 9th District, but he'll have to contend with San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti to do so. Patti is touted as one of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns heading into the election. The Cook Political Report currently has this race as "Lean Democrat" as of Nov. 8, a move from "Likely Democrat" in October.