Voter Guide to the November 6 Midterm Election

The midterm general election is coming up quick. Here’s your guide to get up to speed with everything you need to know.

Get ready to vote on November 6!

Polls are open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm

Early voting begins October 8 and is available up to one day before the election—here’s how.

The deadline to register to vote was October 22.

Missed the deadline? Don’t worry! You can still vote conditionally.

Find other important dates about this year’s elections on Ballotpedia’s election calendar, here.

FIND OUT WHAT’S ON YOUR BALLOT

ARE YOU A CALIFORNIA RESIDENT?

California has a slew of important races on the ballot. We break down some of the biggest races and measures.

BALLOT MEASURES

There are eleven ballot measures to consider. We teamed up with KCET to dive into them.

Proposition 1, Proposition 2, Proposition 5 and Proposition 10 all have to do with housing. Proposition 1 proposes using $4 billion in bonds on affordable housing and home loans for veterans. If Proposition 2 passes, it will allow $2 million in bonds to go towards homelessness prevention housing. Los Angeles voters should be paying attention to Proposition 6, which would reverse a 2017 gasoline tax and ultimately lead to fewer road repairs.

Read about all eleven propositions here.

U.S. SENATE

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the five-term Democratic incumbent, will face a member of her own party, Democratic State Sen. Kevin de León. The California Democratic Party endorsed de León, a move that many see as a liberal shift in the makeup of the party. Despite the endorsement, Feinstein is still ahead in the polls.

Madeleine Brand interviewed Diane Feinstein and Kevin de León to discuss each candidate’s visions for the Democratic party’s future.

The two nominees had their only debate on October 17 and are not likely to face off again.

Warren Olney sat down with both candidates earlier this year. Listen to his interviews right here, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Kevin de León.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Pressure is mounting as Democrats hope to flip the Republican dominated House. California voters will elect fifty-three candidates, one from each of California’s fifty-three congressional districts. Find out more here.

Democrats are eyeing Orange County as one place to flip seats. Jenny Hamel reports from Orange County.

CALIFORNIA STATE CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICES

GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA
The two winners of the June 5 top-two primary will face off to replace Gov. Jerry Brown, who is finishing his fourth term as governor. Madeleine Brand sits down with Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom to discuss issues such as affordable housing and single-payer healthcare. Newsom will run against Republican John Cox, a Trump-supported businessman who we interviewed here on Press Play.

Listen to the candidates debate the issues at the October 8 gubernatorial debate.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
The lieutenant governor acts in the governor’s stead as needed and has a tie-breaking vote in the State Senate. Both candidates are Democrats and are running on similar issues, such as lowering the cost of higher education. Eleni Kounalakis, a businesswoman from California, served as the Ambassador to Hungary during President Obama’s administration. Ed Hernandez is an optometrist who currently serves on the State Senate. The California Democratic Party has not taken a stance on either candidate.

Listen to Madeleine Brand speak with Kounalakis and Hernandez on Press Play.

SECRETARY OF STATE
As the head clerk of California, the secretary of state’s main duties are recordkeeping and overseeing elections. Alex Padilla, the Democratic incumbent, is running for his second term. His campaign promises to protect voting rights and to support small businesses. His opponent is Mark P. Meuser, an attorney who is endorsed by the Republican party. He aims to clean up what he considers inflated voter rosters.

ATTORNEY GENERAL
As the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the state, the state attorney general oversees the Department of Justice and manages the state’s district attorneys and sheriffs. Democrat Xavier Becerra currently holds the office. He is running against Steven C. Bailey, a retired California judge who is endorsed by the California Republican Party.

STATE CONTROLLER
This office controls how money gets spent. Democratic incumbent Betty T. Yee is running on issues such as climate change and how the gig economy affects state revenue. Republican Konstantinos Roditis is focusing on eliminating wasteful spending and changing the tax structure to a more local level.

STATE TREASURER
This is essentially the state’s banker. The treasurer decides how to invest California’s assets and how to sell the state’s bonds. The Democratic candidate is Fiona Ma, a CPA who has sat on a number of California boards and assemblies. Republican candidate Greg Conlon is also a CPA and has worked for several state commissions.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
This office oversees insurance regulations and enforces statutes related to consumer protection and insurance markets. Ricardo Lara, a Democratic State senator, is running against Steve Poizner, a political independent who previously held this position from 2007 to 2011.

STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION (SPI)
The SPI is in charge of the state Department of Education. Tony K. Thurmond is a California State Assemblymember and former educator who has the support of Democrats. His opponent, Marshall Tuck, is a big champion of charter schools. He has the support of the Association of California School Administrators

JUDGES & JUSTICES

There are lots of judges and justices to choose from, going from the county level up to the Supreme Court of California. Madeleine Brand speaks with Jessica Levinson, a professor of election law, to break it down. Listen here.

LA COUNTY ELECTIONS

There are a lot of different districts in Los Angeles, so your ballot will vary with your zip code. People will vote on a handful of local city measures, as well as candidates for local political appointments.

Here are some of the bigger issues that Angeleno’s should be paying attention to:

LA COUNTY SHERIFF
LA’s Sheriff of four years, Jim McDonnell, sits down with Warren Olney to discuss why he is facing the rare instance of a challenger in his reelection bid. McDonnell’s opponent, retired Sheriff’s Lieutenant Alex Villanueva, speaks with Warren Olney about why he is challenging his former boss.

LA COUNTY MEASURES
Measure W aims to capture and clean rainwater and city runoff by levying a parcel tax. Proponents argue the measure will improve infrastructure in order to rescue 100 billion gallons of rainwater a year. Opponents claim that raising taxes is unnecessary and that the measure lacks sufficient planning. Listen to Design And Architecture to find out how the measure would affect Angelenos.

LA CITY MEASURES
Measure B would amend the city charter to allow Los Angeles to have a public bank.
Measure E would change the date of Los Angeles primary elections to align with the state’s.

Learn about all the ballot measures here.

Not a California resident? Look up your state’s sample ballot on Ballotpedia.

Voter Guide updated November 1, 2018