Capitol Alert

Blue wave? First clues coming in + Will young people turn out?

What you need to know about voting in Sacramento County

Sacramento County’s new voting system sends ballots through the mail to every registered voter. Here's how you vote after you get your ballot.
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Sacramento County’s new voting system sends ballots through the mail to every registered voter. Here's how you vote after you get your ballot.


California Democrats will need to turn the current early-voting tides if they want to see a blue wave in the upcoming Nov. 6 elections.

Paul Mitchell, a political consultant and vice president of the bipartisan voter data firm Political Data, said initial ballot returns could spell trouble for Democrats hoping for a wave that goes their direction. His company’s absentee vote tracker shows the turnout thus far is typical of the turnout of the past, with older, whiter, and more Republican voters submitting their ballots.

“If there is a Democratic wave, we’re going to have to see a departure from that pattern here in the tracker,” Mitchell said.

With two weeks left until Election Day, Mitchell noted it is still too early in the game to draw conclusions.

“We should read it at the beginning with a little bit of trepidation,” he added.

One of the key races to watch will be in Congressional District 39, where Democrat Gil Cisneros and Republican Young Kim are competing. So far, turnout among Latino and Asian voters — two groups that could sway the outcome of the election — is underwhelming.

Mitchell said he is also keeping his eye on young voters and people listed with no party preference. While ballots are just beginning to be returned, the share of voters aged 18 to 34 is similar to that of those who had voted at this point in the past.. “If Democrats are going to have a wave, it’s dependent on young people getting into the 30-40 percent range,” he said.

Mitchell says the absentee vote tracker is helpful for those who want to keep up with the horse race of California politics. He encourages readers to sort through the plethora of races and manually look up the breakdown of independent voters to see which party is appealing to that group.

Last night was the deadline for Californians to register to vote or update their registration information ahead of the midterms. You can check your registration status here. Contact your county clerk if there’s a problem.


Here’s an interesting move: Laphonza Butler, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2015, announced on Monday that she will be leaving SEIU at the end of the year. Butler began working for the labor union in 2001 and arrived in California in 2009. Could she be anticipating a slot in the more-likely-than not administration of Democrat Gavin Newsom?


Tom Steyer is on a mission to get voters registered. The billionaire activist you may have seen on television calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment founded NextGen, in part, to help rally support behind Democratic candidates. On Monday, his organization announced it registered nearly 28,000 young California voters. If Democrats want to regain control of the House, they’ll need a lot of help from a younger voting block.


Christine Mai-Duc (@cmaiduc) — “Not gonna lie, watching @TomSteyer trying to get young people to register to vote @csuf had a very Curb Your Enthusiasm feel to it. (I swear I did not put the tuba music in – a band class was practicing nearby)“


‘One of the greatest’ or missed opportunities? Influencers have plenty to say about Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy?

“For the first six years in office he made some attempt to keep the legislature from spending every penny that has come into the state’s coffers.In his last two years his actions have undermined the fiscal discipline by significant additions to the state’s baseline spending, creating the potential for fiscal calamity, and setting up the same set of circumstances that the state faced in 2001 and 2008. California is in desperate need of revenue and spending reform. The state revenue structure is now far more volatile than when he entered office and remains overly dependent on the economic performance and revenue flow from a single region of the state, the San Francisco Bay area.In four separate actions, he has very seriously compromised the public safety of Californians. Whatever his explanation and good intentions, these actions will result in a continuing increase of violent crime as well as property crimes.”

— Pete Wilson, Former California Governor (1991-1999)

MUST-READ: #MeToo scandal becomes election strategy for California Republicans

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