You've got questions about the California election. We've got answers

You've got questions about the California election. We've got answers
Voters cast ballots last week in San Jose. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

It's election day! If you're headed to the polls, you might need a quick refresher on everything that's on the ballot.

The record 19.4 million people who are registered to vote in California have a host of races to choose from: the presidential contest, the Senate race, congressional districts, legislative candidates and 17 statewide ballot propositions, along with local initiatives and races.


It's a lot to get through. Fortunately the Los Angeles Times' political team has you covered with a quick speed read.

California is going blue, what’s the point?

Sure, the state's electoral college votes are in all likelihood going to Hillary Clinton. That leaves some voters feeling left out. But the state still matters. You can't win the presidency without California, and as our cool graphic going back to 1936 shows, it actually hasn't been a lock for the Democrats for very long. We'll be watching closely to see if Orange County will go blue for the first time in 80 years.

Why are there two Democrats running for U.S. Senate?

That's thanks to California's top-two primary system, which this year sent two members of the same party to a statewide contest for the first time since voters implemented the system in 2012. We've covered this race very closely, so check out all the links below.

Why are there so many ballot measures?

For the most part, it's because turnout was so low in the last statewide election. Also, this was a prime year for people to get their issues in front of the voters, especially given the expected high turnout.

Condoms, really?

Really. In 2012, Los Angeles County voters opted to require adult film actors to wear condoms. Now, Californians statewide are faced with the same question. Proposition 60 has deep-pocketed donors and passionate opponents.

What do polls of California voters say?

Glad you asked. Along with our partners at USC Dornsife, The Times just took one. From the presidential race to the Senate contest to the hottest ballot measures, see how things are shaping up.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Find your polling place here. And catch up while you wait with some of our top election headlines.

Ballot measures


Out of time? Here are the propositions explained with emojis.

U.S. Senate race

Join us at for full election coverage of California's measures and propositions.

Congressional races


Legislative races


One expensive election

For those with lots of time: Candidate profiles

Thanks for all this. Do you have any other good reads I should check out?

We sure do.

Here's one about the time the politics team went to Disneyland to talk to people about the election.

And we identified the GOP dead zones in L.A. County, where you won't find any Republicans to vote for.

And did you know that Donald Trump's official "Make America Great Again" hats are made right here in California?

OK, I’m sick of the election. Anything else?

Go follow our Facebook page. Our engagement team has some treats in store for readers needing a break. And when you're ready again, we'll have lots of analysis and news in our free Essential Politics newsletter, so sign up.