California conducts open primaries for legislative, congressional and constitutional offices. In an open primary all candidates for an office are listed on the same ballot and anyone can vote for any candidate, regardless of party preference. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes in a special primary election, the two candidates who receive the most votes will move on to a run-off election.
The Secretary of State's certified list of candidates for the State Senate District 7 Special General Election includes the names and contact information for all candidates on the ballot.
Since 2011, California voters who were previously known as “decline-to-state” (because they did not have a party affiliation) are known as "no party preference.” If a legislative or congressional candidate does not have a preference for a qualified political party, the phrase "no party preference" is listed next to the candidate's name on the ballot.
Secretary of State website abbreviations for party preferences are as follows:
Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 3 days after Election Day (May 22). If you are not sure your vote-by-mail ballot will arrive in time if mailed, bring it to any polling place in your county between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
You may return it in person to any polling place in your county or to the county elections office on Election Day. If you are unable to return the ballot yourself, you may designate a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a person residing in the same household to return the ballot to the elections official or the precinct board at any polling place within the jurisdiction. The ballot must be received by the elections official or the precinct board before the close of the polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.
Yes, election results will change throughout the canvass period as vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots, and other ballots are processed. Depending on the volume of these types of ballots, it may take several days for county elections officials to verify voter records and determine if ballots have been cast by eligible voters. The frequency of updated results will vary based on the size of each county and the process each county elections office uses to tally and report votes.
County elections officials must report their final results to the Secretary of State by May 29. The Secretary will certify the election shortly thereafter. (Elections Code section 15501.)
Each county elections office processes ballots differently, and the distances that poll workers must travel with voted ballots from polling places to county elections offices after the polls close vary greatly. State law requires county elections officials to send their first batch of results to the Secretary of State's office no more than two hours after they begin tallying the votes after polls close on Election Day. County elections officials continue to report results periodically until all polling place ballot totals have been reported. County elections officials will continue to count ballots not cast at polling places in subsequent days. (Elections Code sections 15150, 15151.)
The first election results are typically ballots received before Election Day. Voters may cast ballots up to 29 days before Election Day. County elections officials may begin opening vote-by-mail ballot envelopes up to seven business days before Election Day, but those results cannot be accessed or shared with the public until all polls close on Election Day.
Many county elections officials choose to tally and report these early voted ballots before results come in from precincts, which are sometimes far away from county headquarters. Early voted ballots simply appear as raw vote totals because, in this initial stage, the ballots are not attributed to individual precincts. (Elections Code sections 15101, 15152.)
Vote-by-mail ballots that are received by county elections offices before Election Day are typically counted on Election Day. Many more vote-by-mail ballots are dropped off at polling places or arrive at county elections offices on Election Day. Depending on the volume of these types of ballots, it may take several days for county elections officials to verify voter records and determine if ballots have been cast by eligible voters. The frequency of updated results will vary based on the size of each county and the process each county elections office uses to tally and report votes.
All vote-by-mail ballots that county elections officials determine have been cast by eligible voters are counted and included in the official election results. (Elections Code section 15320.)
All provisional ballots that county elections officials determine have been cast by eligible voters are counted and included in the official election results. Depending on the volume of these types of ballots, it may take several days for county elections officials to verify voter records and determine if ballots have been cast by eligible voters. (Elections Code section 14310.)