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California Voter Guide

Decode your 2022 midterm ballot with KQED’s non-partisan voting guide. Gain insights into state propositions, top statewide offices and key local measures and races. Not sure how to cast your ballot? Visit our Voting FAQ. Results and live updates will be available shortly after 8 p.m. on election night.
  • Oct. 10: Early voting sites open; last day for counties to mail every registered voter a ballot.
  • Oct. 24: Last day to register to vote.
  • Nov. 8: Election Day. Polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

California Propositions

Proposition 1
Should California amend its constitution to include the right to reproductive freedom, including access to abortion and contraceptives?
Proposition 26
Should California legalize sports betting at tribal casinos and horse racetracks, and allow roulette and dice games at tribal casinos?
Proposition 27
Should California legalize online sports betting?
Proposition 28
Should California guarantee that 1% of the amount funded for public education be set aside for music and the arts in every K-12 public school?
Proposition 29
Should California add new regulations for kidney dialysis clinics?
Proposition 30
Should California raise the personal income tax of its wealthiest residents to pay for programs meant to fight climate change and air pollution?
Proposition 31
Should California ban flavored tobacco products?

Key Statewide Races

U.S. Senator
Democratic Senator Alex Padilla and Republican lawyer Mark Meuser will face each other twice on the ballot for one of California’s two U.S. Senate seats: once to fill the remainder of the term that Padilla was appointed to in 2020 and also for a new six-year term beginning in January.
Governor
A year after trouncing a recall attempt, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom runs for a second term in the state’s top seat, against Republican State Senator Brian Dahle, who represents northeastern California.
Attorney General
Amid rising voter concern about crime, Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta runs to keep his job as California’s top law enforcement official against Republican Nathan Hochman, a Los Angeles-based defense attorney and former federal prosecutor.
Controller
Republicans see their best chance at winning a statewide office in more than a decade, as GOP policy advisor Lanhee Chen faces Democratic Board of Equalization member Malia Cohen to serve as California's chief fiscal officer.

Key Local Races

Alameda CountyAlameda County

Attorney Pamela Price faces Alameda County prosecutor Terry Wiley in the race to replace outgoing DA Nancy O'Malley.
Nine candidates vie to succeed outgoing mayor Libby Schaaf in a ranked-choice voting election.
Should Oakland extend its eviction protections to RVs, new units after 10 years and households with teachers or school-age children?

Contra Costa CountyContra Costa County

Pleasant Hill council member Ken Carlson and BART director Debora Allen vie for a seat currently held by outgoing supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
Nat Bates, Shawn Dunning, Eduardo Martinez and Mark Wassberg run to replace outgoing mayor Tom Butt.
Should Richmond limit future rent hikes in rent-controlled units to 60% of the Consumer Price Index, or 3%, whichever is lower?

Marin CountyMarin County

Assemblymember Marc Levine's failed run for insurance commissioner opened up this seat in Marin and Sonoma counties. Marin supervisor Damon Connolly finished first in the June primary, narrowly ahead of Sara Aminzadeh, a California Coastal Commissioner.
Should a special tax be adopted for the Marin County Free Library to pay for services and facilities?
Should Sausalito repeal its ban on cannabis sales?

Napa CountyNapa County

Napa County Planning Commissioner Joelle Gallagher and businessperson Suzanne Besú Truchard are running to replace outgoing supervisor Brad Wagenknecht.
Anne Cottrell, a Napa County planning commissioner and Yountville mayor John F. Dunbar are running for this open seat currently held by Diane Dillon.
Should American Canyon extend its growth boundary and allow more industrial development?

San Francisco CountySan Francisco County

DA Brooke Jenkins was appointed the city’s top prosecutor by Mayor London Breed after the recall of Chesa Boudin. Now, Jenkins faces former police commissioner John Hamasaki and former San Francisco fire commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese.
Gordon Mar, the incumbent supervisor, faces a challenge from Joel Engardio.
Incumbent Matt Dorsey, appointed to the board earlier this year by Mayor London Breed, runs against Honey Mahogany, the chair of the SF Democratic Party, and others in this SOMA district.

San Mateo CountySan Mateo County

Jackie Speier's retirement created the first open House seat in the Bay Area since 2014. State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin finished first in the primary election, ahead of San Mateo supervisor David Canepa.
San Mateo-Foster City School District trustee Noelia Corzo and Belmont councilmember Charles Stone run for an open seat representing San Mateo, Foster City and Belmont.
Menlo Park councilmember Ray Mueller and San Carlos councilmember Laura Parmer-Lohan run for an open seat covering the coastal part of the county.

Santa Clara CountySanta Clara County

Santa Clara supervisor Cindy Chavez and San Jose city councilmember Matt Mahan face in a runoff to determine the next leader of the country's 10th-largest city.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is retiring next year amid civil grand jury hearings, allegations of bribery and misconduct, and investigations into jail abuse cases. Former Palo Alto police chief Bob Jonsen and retired sheriff’s captain Kevin Jensen will face each other in the November runoff.
San Jose councilmember Sylvia Arenas and former councilmemberJohnny Khamis are running in a district that stretches from San Jose to Gilroy.

Solano CountySolano County

Should Solano County enact a one-eighth cent sales tax to pay for county services?
Suisun City councilmember Wanda Williams and Fairfield councilmember Chuck Timm are running to succeed supervisor Jim Spering.
Five candidates are vying for two seats on the City Council in Benicia where the political spending of the oil giant Valero looms large.

Sonoma CountySonoma County

Assemblymember Marc Levine's failed run for insurance commissioner opened up this seat in Marin and Sonoma counties. Marin supervisor Damon Connolly finished first in the June primary, narrowly ahead of Sara Aminzadeh, a California Coastal Commissioner.
Should Santa Rosa renew a quarter-cent sales tax for 20 years to fund police and fire programs?
Should Cloverdale ban the use of all fireworks?
Need more information? KQED is partnering again with Voter’s Edge and the League of Women Voters for complete ballot details.

Voting FAQ

How do I return my ballot?

Ballots can be returned through the Postal Service (the return postage is already paid) or dropped off at a voting location or in a ballot drop box. Keep in mind that the Postal Service must postmark your ballot envelope by the end of Election Day for your vote to count — and the last collection at many mailboxes is 5 p.m. If it's getting late in the day on November 8, you might consider using a county drop box instead of a USPS mailbox.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

Some counties will provide written instructions on how to correct a mistake on your ballot, such as voting for a candidate you didn't intend to. But if you clearly mark your intended choice — say, by x-ing out your mistake — your vote can still be counted.

What if I made a mistake with my ballot signature?

Your ballot will not be counted if the envelope is unsigned or if the signature doesn't match the signature in your voter registration file. Typically, the signature on file is the same as the signature pictured on the front of your driver's license or state ID. County election officials can reach out to you to correct a missing or mismatched signature in order to count your ballot, even after election day.

How do I track my ballot once I’ve returned it?

All registered voters in California can sign up for an online tool to track the status of their mail-in ballots for the November general election. "Where's My Ballot?" provides automated notifications via email, text or phone when your county elections offices have mailed out your ballot — and when your completed ballot has been received and processed.

Can I still vote in-person?

Yes. In Contra Costa, San Francisco and Solano counties, you will be assigned to a specific location for in-person voting. In Alameda, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties, you can cast your ballot at any vote center in the county.