California Election Day is Tuesday
The June 5 election in California is only days away and there is no shortage of decisions awaiting voters.
From primary races for statewide offices including the governor, to the race for El Dorado County District 5 supervisor, to a ballot question that could bring funding to Tahoe, California’s election will answer critical questions and set up key races for the general election in November.
While the voter registration deadline has passed, eligible residents in El Dorado County who wish to vote can head to either the El Dorado County Recorder Clerk’s Office in South Lake Tahoe (3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 108) or the county elections department in Placerville (2850 Fairlane Court) and register to vote, explained Linda Webster, assistant registrar of voters in El Dorado County.
Once registered they can cast a provisional ballot that will be counted providing election officials can verify that the person is eligible to vote in the jurisdiction and hasn’t already cast a ballot in the election. Provisional ballots must be filled out on site at the time of registration.
Voters signed up to receive ballots via mail should have received them by now. Voters in the county and most of the state still have to request mail ballots in order to receive them — and the deadline to request a mail ballot for this election has passed.
Mail ballots can still be sent and as long as they are postmarked or signed by June 5 and received by election officials within three business days after that date, they will be counted.
First class postage is required to mail a ballot.
Voters who received a mail ballot can return them to the county recorder clerk’s office in South Lake Tahoe; the county elections department in Placerville; or at any Election Day polling place (see factbox) on June 5.
There is a 24-hour ballot drop-off box in Placerville. It’s located at the building C parking lot at 2850 Fairlane Court.
Polling places on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Once voters have their ballot, there will be plenty of decisions to make.
Statewide, California voters will choose a candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general and insurance commissioner.
The list of gubernatorial candidates totals 27, however the majority of those have little to no chance of winning. A debate hosted by NBC Bay Area in early May featured the six candidates seen as the frontrunners. They are Travis Allen (R), John Chiang (D), John Cox (R), Delaine Eastin (D), Gavin Newsom (D) and Antonio Villaraigosa (D).
California has a top-two primary system, meaning the top two candidates will move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
There are 11 candidates vying for lieutenant governor; eight for secretary of state (including incumbent Alex Padilla); three for controller (including incumbent Betty T. Yee); five for treasurer; four for attorney general (including incumbent Xavier Becerra and former El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Steven Bailey); and four for insurance commissioner.
Voters will also choose a candidate for California Board of Equalization District 1, which spans 30 counties along the eastern portion of the state. Incumbent George Runner is term-limited and not on the ballot.
At the federal level, the race for U.S. Senate resembles that for governor, with a long list of candidates — the majority of whom have little to no chance at winning. Incumbent Dianne Feinstein and state Senator Kevin de León (both Democrats) are largely seen as the frontrunners in the race.
Six are vying for California’s 4th Congressional District, where Rep. Tom McClintock (R) faces four Democrats and one Republican.
Two are running for the 5th District in the California Assembly, including incumbent Frank Bigelow (R). He faces Democrat Carla J. Neal.
Four are running for state superintendent of public instruction.
County races for superintendent of schools, assessor, sheriff-coroner, and surveyor each have one candidate running for the position.
Four are running for the El Dorado County District 5 supervisor seat. They are Kenny Curtzwiler, Sue Novasel, Jeffrey Spencer and Norma Santiago.
Two are running for auditor-controller, which is the chief accounting officer for the county. Business owner Mike Owen is looking to unseat long-time incumbent Joe Harn.
In the race for district attorney, Trish Kelliher is looking to topple incumbent DA Vern Pierson.
Three candidates are running for the recorder-clerk position.
And for the county treasurer-tax collector race, Anne Billingsley and K.E. Coleman are facing off.
Aside from elected offices, voters also are being asked to answer five ballot questions submitted to the state.
Proposition 68 would authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for: parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection.
The measure would have a notable impact on Lake Tahoe and the region, providing $27 million to the California Tahoe Conservancy and $30 million to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
Fore those reasons and others, Prop 68 has been endorsed by the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Chamber and others.
If the measure, which was put on the ballot by the Legislature, is approved it would lead to increase state bond repayments averaging $200 million annually over 40 years. For those reasons, the measure has opposition from fiscal conservatives who do not want the state to take on additional debt.
However, an official summary states that it could result in several tens of millions of dollars saved by local governments for natural resources-related projects over the next few decades.
More information: voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/68/
Proposition 69 would ensure revenues generated by a 2017 transportation funding law (commonly referred to as “the gas tax increase”) are used for transportation purposes only. It would prohibit the Legislature form diverting that money for other purposes.
More information: voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/69/
Proposition 70 would require that revenues from the state’s cap-and-trade system accumulate in a reserve fund starting in 2024 until the Legislature, by a two-thirds majority, authorizes use of the money.
If approved, a current state sales tax exemption for manufacturing and certain other equipment would be suspended until the two-thirds majority authorizes use of the funds. If denied, the status quo would remain, meaning a simple majority of the Legislature could authorize the spending of revenues from cap-and-trade.
More information: voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/70/
Proposition 71 would provide some room between Election Day and when approved ballot measures take effect. Currently, most measures are effective the day after the election, unless the measure specifies otherwise. Prop 71 would push that back to five days after the secretary of state certifies election results, which is usually six weeks after the election.
More information: voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/71/
Proposition 72 could allow for the construction of rain-capture systems without requiring property tax reassessment. Essentially installing a system to collect and store rainwater on a property could not result in a higher property tax bill. If approved the measure would likely lead to a minor reduction in annual property tax revenues to local governments.
No formal argument against the measure was submitted to the California Secretary of State’s Office.
More information: voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/72/
CORRECTION: This article incorrectly stated California had an open primary. It has since been corrected.