What to Know About California’s November Election

The general election is Nov. 8, when voters will weigh in on seven ballot propositions and make their picks for attorney general, congressional representative, state senator and more.Credit…Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

If the TV ads I’m seeing are any indication, election season is heating up in California.

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 8, when voters will weigh in on seven ballot propositions and make their picks for attorney general, congressional representative, state senator and more. Depending on where you live, you may also be choosing your next mayor, sheriff or school board members.

We’ll dive further into some of those races in the coming weeks, but for now I’ve got answers to your voting questions.

Where’s my ballot?

Monday is the deadline for county officials to mail ballots to voters, so yours is en route or will be soon. Los Angeles County officials said on Thursday that they had begun sending them to voters.

As with the last few elections in California, every active registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail. If you want to know where yours is, sign up for the state’s free ballot-tracking service.

How can I know if I’m registered to vote?

Check here. If you’re not registered within 14 days of an election in California, you can also register the day of the vote. You can learn more about same-day voter registration here.

When is the election?

Officially, the election is Nov. 8, but California’s universal vote-by-mail system means that voting essentially begins once ballots go out.

You can return your ballot by mail (as long as it’s postmarked by Nov. 8) or in a secure drop box, also by Nov. 8. You can also cast ballots in person, and in many places voting begins as many as 10 days before the election.

What’s on my ballot?

Many of the races may be familiar if you voted in the June primary. That election narrowed the field of candidates for each contest down to the top two vote-getters. You can review the primary results here.

In the general election next month you’ll be voting on:

  • Seven ballot propositions. You can read our guide to this year’s initiatives, which cover issues including dialysis clinics, sports betting and reproductive rights.

  • Races for U.S. Senate, governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general, insurance commissioner, members of the state Board of Equalization, state superintendent of public instruction and state Supreme Court justices.

  • Based on where you live, you’ll also be picking a congressional representative, a state senator and a state assemblymember. Hundreds of thousands of Californians were shifted into new election districts by recent redistricting, but you can check your current district with this CalMatters tool.

  • Most Californians will also see local races on their ballots. For example, voters in San Jose, Los Angeles and Oakland are electing mayors this year.

Didn’t I just vote for governor?

It does feel that way. In September 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom faced a recall vote, which he defeated.

But he was first elected in 2018, so he is up for re-election to try to secure a second four-year term. He’s running against Brian Dahle, a Republican state senator.

How can I check to see whether my ballot was counted?

You can track when your vote-by-mail ballot is mailed, received and counted at california.ballottrax.net/voter.

For more:

  • How Republicans could win control of the U.S. House.

  • Look up your new election districts for 2022, from CalMatters.

  • The latest polling shows that the Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso is trailing Karen Bass by double digits, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The exterior of a Chevron gas station in San Rafael.Credit…Alexandra Hootnick for The New York Times

The rest of the news

  • Tax refund: California will send tax refunds to about 23 million state residents to help them navigate the rising cost of gas and combat inflation, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Drought agreement: Gov. Gavin Newsom and other West Coast governors on Thursday signed a major climate agreement promising to accelerate efforts to combat climate change, The San Jose Mercury News reports.


  • Drug seizure: Federal and local authorities investigating Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel found more than 3,550 pounds of methamphetamine and 145 pounds of cocaine at a home in Southern California, The Associated Press reports.

  • Didion’s legacy: An ambitious exhibition examining Joan Didion’s life, and created with her blessing, will open on Oct. 11 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, signaling that the museum has won the claim on the author’s legacy.


  • Nurses strike: Nurses at Fresno’s Sunnyside Convalescent Hospital have gone on indefinite strike to protest what they called unsafe staffing levels, bounced paychecks and pay below minimum wage for some workers, The Fresno Bee reports.

  • Merced killing: The suspect in the kidnapping and killing of a Merced County family was a former employee who had a longstanding dispute with them, The Associated Press reports.


  • The Beatles: A tablecloth the Beatles drew on before taking the stage at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966 is now up for auction, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

  • Homelessness: In Sacramento, massive tent encampments and highway overpasses have become havens for homeless people, whose numbers have jumped a staggering 70 percent over two years, The Associated Press reports.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

What we’re eating

A dozen reasons to drink Beaujolais.

The falls at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park.Credit…Drew Kelly for The New York Times

Where we’re traveling

Today’s tip comes from Nancy Hull, who recommends a beauty in Shasta County:

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

Tell us

Did you recently buy or rent a home in California? We want to hear from you.

The New York Times’s weekly real estate column, The Hunt, features everyday people who just moved and want to share their stories. If that’s you, get in touch with us at thehuntca@nytimes.com.

Nicole Aunapu Mann, second from right, led the SpaceX mission to the International Space Station on Wednesday.Credit…Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

And before you go, some good news

On Wednesday, SpaceX launched its crewed space mission to the International Space Station led by Nicole Mann — the first Native American woman to go to space.

A Marine Corps pilot and NASA astronaut, Mann is a member of the Wailaki tribe of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and was born and raised in Sonoma County, The Petaluma Argus-Courier reports.

Her milestone moment comes 20 years after John Herrington became the first Native American man to walk in space, NPR reports. Mann told NPR that she hoped her trip to space could inspire younger generations.

“It’s so fun in our lifetime when you have firsts,” she said. “And I think it’s really great to celebrate those and to communicate that, especially to the younger generation — these young women, maybe Natives, maybe people from different backgrounds that realize that they have these opportunities and potentially these barriers that used to be there are starting to be broken down.”

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Briana Scalia, Maia Coleman and Francis Mateo contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.


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