Capitol Alert

AM Alert: It’s not Election Day yet, but Californians can start voting

Julia Croteau drops off her ballot outside the El Dorado County Elections Department office on Nov. 4, 2008.
Julia Croteau drops off her ballot outside the El Dorado County Elections Department office on Nov. 4, 2008. The Sacramento Bee file

The November election is officially on in California.

With 29 days to go until Election Day – that’s Nov. 8, for those of you keeping track of when you may have to flee the country because Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is elected our next president – voters will begin receiving mail-in ballots today and can now vote early at their county elections offices.

There are a record number of Californians registered the vote this year: 18.25 million. And the total is almost certain to rise before the registration deadline on Oct. 24.

The trend is looking good for Democrats. Since January, they have gained another three-point registration advantage over Republicans statewide, which could boost the party’s efforts to regain a two-thirds supermajority in the Legislature.

Get informed by following The Bee’s election coverage on Capitol Alert or using our Voter Guide, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about all the ballot initiatives and important races over the next month.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Back in Sacramento last week, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not have kind words for opponents of his signature climate law.

MIND THE GAP: Advocates in the Asian-American community have been working in recent years to bust the “model minority” myth that they argue has harmfully overshadowed persistent gaps among ethnic subgroups in college completion, health rates and other factors. But a data collection bill this session intended to illuminate those disparities and better target assistance triggered the Capitol’s sometimes-volatile racial politics, with Chinese-American organizations in particular raising concerns that the measure could be used to roll back California’s affirmative action ban and keep Asians out of the state’s public universities. Their opposition nearly sank the bill, but Gov. Jerry Brown eventually signed a scaled-back version dealing only with public health. The Senate Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs will broach that topic with a hearing on diseases in the Asian American community and strategies for prevention and treatment, 1:30 p.m. at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in San Francisco.

WORTH REPEATING: “It was the best job I’ve ever had.” – Schwarzenegger, reflecting on his time in office

THIS LAND IS MYLAN: The controversy over EpiPen prices continues to spiral. Last week, the federal government accused the allergy drug’s manufacturer Mylan, which has been under fire for quintupling the price of EpiPens during the past decade, of bilking Medicaid out of millions of dollars in rebates by incorrectly classifying it as a generic medication. Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy organization helping to promote a drug-pricing initiative this November, is hoping the outrage will fuel support for Proposition 61, which would mandate that California cannot pay more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The group is hosting a press conference, 11 a.m. at its offices in Santa Monica, with mothers and their children who rely on EpiPens.

CYBER SENATOR: Fresh off a dab-free appearance at the U.S. Senate race’s one and only debate, Attorney General Kamala Harris is leaning into the cybersecurity expertise that she touted at Cal State LA last Wednesday. Harris will be on the Fresno State campus at 1:30 p.m. to launch a new California Cyber Crime Center, which aims to make digital forensic technology, like e-mail recovery and social media investigations, available to law enforcement across the state.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who turns 49 today.