First where to go if you haven’t received your ballot or if you want to register to vote – ocvote.com – the Orange County Registrar of Voters has all your answers.
If you lose your vote, ruin your vote, or just want to vote in person at one of the Vote Centers – you can find the map of Vote Centers there with the hours they’re open.
You can mail in your ballot or return it in a secure dropbox anywhere in the County. You can track your ballot and get notified when your ballot has been received and counted.
Orange County Registrar of Voters has some of the best measures in place to protect your ballot each step of the way, including identity verification, signature matching technology, countywide voting, ballot tracking, secure dropbox locations, text notifications, and post-election audits.
As always, visit the League of Women Voters election resource Voter’s Edge at CaVotes.org The League has the Voter’s Edge tool that will not only tell you who is on your ballot but give a lot of unbiased information in one place. Type in your address and you’ll get personalized election information.
Grab your ballot and learn the three kinds of election rules that will decide these races.
Partisan Primary - where the top two advance to November for statewide and district races for Congress, CA Senate, and CA Assembly.
Orange County – Majority Wins- If no one gets a majority of the vote, the top two have a runoff in November. This includes OC Superior Court judges and all the county offices (DA, Clerk-Recorder, Assessor). In races with only two candidates on the ballot, one will get a majority and win the office in June.
One and Done in June – the Orange County Board of Education races will be decided with the June ballot where the candidate with the most votes wins. There is no runoff election.
For the top of the ticket races, voters are selecting who they want to see on the November General Election and the top two will advance to the runoff ballot. All the constitutional executive offices, plus the United States Senate will appear on every California voter’s ballot. The Board of Equalization seats are divided by geography and all of Orange County is in Area 4. The candidates are listed with their partisan affiliations and voters looking for guidance can look to the political party websites for endorsements.
United States Senator Alex Padilla was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve the term vacated by Kamala Harris who was elected Vice President of the United States. Due to a quirk of California election law, that appointed term ends with the election of a Senator whose term begins with the 118th Congress of the United States in January 2023. That election is the full 6-year term on the ballot. So, the short-term election is to fill those months of November 2022 – January 2023. Without this election, California would not have representation and the Democratic Party could lose their majority since there’s currently a 50:50 split with VP Harris giving control of the Senate to the Democratic Party.
The races for Congress, Senate, and Assembly are also partisan elections with primary elections where the voter is choosing who they want to advance to the November General Election ballot and the top two will appear. Almost everyone in Orange County has new district #’s and a lot of you will have new incumbents because every ten years we redraw the maps. The maps below have the incumbents listed with * and their party affiliation (R) for Republican and (D) for Democrat
The California Senate has 40 districts and alternate turns on the ballot with even-numbered seats elected for 4-year terms in 2022 and odd-numbered seats elected for 4-year terms in 2024. Orange County only has one odd-numbered district, SD 37 where we expect state senators Josh Newman and Dave Min to face off in 2024.
These are all partisan races where the candidates will list their political parties next to their names. And voters can look at who was endorsed by the political party they identify with. If you’re a Democrat or lean that way – check out the OC Dem endorsements Official Voter Guide | Democratic Party of Orange County, California (orangecountydemocrats.com) If you’re a Republican or lean that way – check out the OC Republican endorsements. Republican Party of Orange County - Endorsements (ocgop.org) In each race the top two will advance to November where the actual winner will be chosen. If there are only two people running – they’re both going to be on the ballot. In a race like Phil Chen’s Assembly race – he’s the only one. You can write someone in or skip it, but Phil Chen is going to be on the November ballot and he’s almost certainly going to be re-elected.
In each of these races, someone could and often will win from this June ballot.
If a candidate wins a majority or more, that office won’t appear on the November ballot. OC Board of Supervisors, District Attorney, Assessor, Clerk-Recorder, and the Superior Court Judges. They can all win with a simple majority vote. Those races with only two candidates will be decided with this election.
Now if they don’t win a majority, the top two advance to November. There are some races with 4-5 candidates which will likely split the vote to a runoff election.
League of Women Voters Forum on District Attorney
Watching Candidate Forums hosted by the League of Women Voters is one of the best ways to research your ballot. The forum for the Orange County District Attorney race was excellent and I encourage you to watch it:
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