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Newsom Wins Race For Governor -- Here's What Else We Know About California's Elections

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Updated at 12:57 p.m. Wednesday

Good morning, SoCal! The midterms are over. The votes are being tallied. Some races have been called and some are too close to call yet.

Here are a few big stories this morning:

We're following election results as they come in. The numbers below will be automatically updated throughout the day:

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Get more live election results:

THE RESULTS SO FAR IN KEY RACES

Here's who has won so far:

  • SENATOR: Dianne Feinstein
  • GOVERNOR: Gavin Newsom
  • LT. GOVERNOR: Eleni Kounalakis
  • ATTORNEY GENERAL: Xavier Becerra
  • SECRETARY OF STATE: Alex Padilla
  • TREASURER: Fiona Ma
  • CONTROLLER: Betty Yee
  • STATE SUPERINTENDENT: Tony Thurmond
  • INSURANCE COMMISSIONER: Ricardo Lara
  • PROP 1 (Bonds to Fund Veteran & Affordable Housing): Approved
  • PROP 2 (Amend Existing Housing Program for Mental Illness): Approved
  • PROP 3 (Bond for Water and Environmental Projects): Defeated
  • PROP 4 ($1.5 Billion For Children's Hospitals): Approved
  • PROP 5 (Property Tax Base Transfers): Defeated
  • PROP 6 (Gas Tax Repeal): Defeated
  • PROP 7 (Authorizing Permanent Daylight Saving Time): Approved
  • PROP 8 (Kidney Dialysis Clinics): Defeated
  • PROP 10 (More Flexibility For Rent Control): Defeated
  • PROP 11 (On-Call Breaks For Ambulance Employees): Approved
  • PROP 12 (Confinement For Farm Animals): Approved

THE RESULTS IN L.A. COUNTY:

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Based on early election returns in L.A. County, here are the races with likely winners:

  • HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CA-25: Katie Hill (Steve Knight conceded)
  • SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NO. 4: A. Verónica Sauceda
  • SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NO. 16: Patricia (Patti) Hunter
  • SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NO. 60: Tony J. Cho
  • SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NO. 113: Javier Perez


12:05 A.M. AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT

We're heading out out for the night, but we'll be back up and at it at 5 a.m. Wednesday. You can continue to look here to stay up-to-date on the state's election results. (They will update automatically with the exception of some local races, including L.A. County sheriff's office, judges, and Measure W.)

And with that, see you tomorrow!

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-- LAist staff

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Katie Hill speaks to her supporters at The Canyon restaurant in Valencia on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Susanica Tam for LAist) (Photo by Susanica Tam/LAist)

11:59 P.M. DEMOCRATS LIKELY TO TAKE CONTROL OF HOUSE, BUT SOCAL RACES REMAIN CLOSE

The Democrats appear likely to take control back of the House, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claiming victory earlier in the evening. Still, there weren't quite enough races called Tuesday night for it to be official, including some tight races in California.

Candidates in many closely watched races agreed that they were too close to call.

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In the tightest race of the night, Democrat Katie Hill was in a dead heat with incumbent Republican Steve Knight, with 33.1 percent reporting. There were 43 votes separating the two. Knight had just taken the small lead from Hill, who had been ahead by a couple hundred votes previously.

"We don't know a whole lot yet," Hill said. "No matter what the outcome is, this is only the beginning of the fight."

Democrat Harley Rouda had a narrow lead over incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher, 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent with 63 percent reporting.

"We do not know the outcome of this election and I don't know when we will," Democrat Katie Porter said. Porter trailed her opponent Mimi Walters, 47.7 percent to 52.3 percent, with about two-thirds of precincts reporting.

"We have some time to go before we really know the final results," Republican Young Kim said earlier in the evening. She led her opponent, Democrat Gil Cisneros, 53.9 to 46.1 percent, which was also about two-thirds counted. "So I'm very cautiously optimistic that we're going to pull it off."

"Just be patient as the results come in, it's going to take awhile," her opponent, Democrat Gil Cisneros, said. "We may not know who actually won for a long time, but stick there with me and keep the faith, because I have faith in you all."

Hopefully, we'll all know more in the morning. We're also still watching close races in the 49th and 50th districts.

-- Mike Roe with Emily Dugdale, Michelle Faust & Matthew Tinoco

10:57 P.M. PERMANENT DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME, MINIMUM SPACE FOR FARM ANIMALS APPROVED BY VOTERS

Propositions 7 and 12 are projected to have passed, according to the Associated Press.

Prop 7 authorizes California lawmakers to make daylight saving time permanent with a two-thirds vote. But even after that, it would also require Congress to approve the change, so don't expect this to go into effect just yet.

Prop 12 strengthens existing rules for how animals are housed by the food industry. The law already says they need to be given enough room to be able to turn around lie down, but Prop 12 specifies a specific square footage. It also bans the sale of eggs or meat from animals kept in spaces that don't meet those requirements. Come 2022, it also requires farmers to put egg-laying hens in cage-free housing.

-- LAist staff

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California's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and his family waves to supporters from stage at his election night watch party in Los Angeles on Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

10:41 P.M. JOHN COX CONCEDES DEFEAT TO GAVIN NEWSOM IN GOVERNOR'S RACE

John Cox told his supporters they'd been a great team, even though they'd fallen short of putting a Republican back in the governor's office.

"I hope each and every one of you believe in the mission we made this campaign about," Cox said. "And if there's anything that we did, I consider myself very proud that we highlighted an incredible struggle that the people of this state have had for years under the people that are running this state. We identified the needs of these people. The fact that they can't afford housing. They can't afford gasoline. They can't afford the basics of life. And let me tell you: This Republican party will be back in this state!"

Not long after, Cox talked to his campaign staff, Newsom took the stageat his party in L.A.

"The votes are still being counted," Newsom said, "and clearly your voices are still being heard, but a few minutes ago I received a very generous call from John Cox. We congratulated each other on a hard-fought race and now I want to congratulate each and every one of you. Now I stand before you knowing I will have the incredible privilege of knowing I will serve as your next governor."

-- Megan Garvey

10 P.M. FEINSTEIN CLAIMS SENATE SEAT VICTORY OVER DE LEÓN

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who at 85 is the oldest member of the Senate, spoke to supporters in San Francisco tonight, joking that after so many terms she was surprised to see a crowd.

"As I walked into this jammed room, somewhat overheated, I thought 'You know, how lucky I am to have a constituency like this. How lucky I am to have a family, husband, daughter, stepdaughters that support me.'"

For a longtime incumbent and acknowledged party leader, Feinstein faced an unexpectedly robust challenge from fellow Democrat Kevin de León. Still, with about 23% of precincts in the state reporting, she was ahead by 7 points.

Feinstein told those gathered Tuesday that she would "do everything in my power to be the kind and type of United States senator not only that I have been, but hopefully, having learned from the years, gained from the experience, able to provide the leadership as the lead Democrat on the judiciary committee, first woman."

She went on to underscore her trailblazing on a committee that she noted now has four Democratic women serving on it.

"I hope you find our service very forceful and special for you, those of you who are women, those of you who are men," she said. "This is such a great country and it has been factionalized and trivialized with rhetoric. We must stop that. We must come together as the great power that we are for the good of the nation and, I think, of mankind. Let's hope the vote goes well tonight."

Not long after Feinstein expressed that hope, de León let his supporters gathered in downtown L.A. know that he had congratulated her on another victory.

-- Megan Garvey

9:51 P.M. RENT CONTROL PROPOSITION FAILS

Proposition 10, which would have expanded rent control in California and was aimed at helping with the state's housing crisis, has failed, according to a projection from the Associated Press.

Under California's Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, passed in 1995, cities can't enact rent control on any buildings first occupied after February 1, 1995, or on certain types of housing like condos or townhouses. It also says a landlord can raise rents to market rates if a tenant moves out.

Prop 10 would have repealed that law and give cities and counties more room to regulate rent increases, as long as landlords were still able to make some profit each year.

-- LAist staff

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File: Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during his primary election night gathering on June 5, 2018 in San Francisco. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Justin Sullivan/)

9:13 P.M. DEMOCRAT GAVIN NEWSOM ELECTED NEXT GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

Gavin Newsom will follow fellow Democrat Jerry Brown as California's next governor, according to projections from NPR and the Associated Press.

Gavin Newsom had been leading in early results -- he had a 12 point lead with 13 percent of precincts reporting.

Newsom has been a harsh critic of President Donald Trump. He's campaigned on issues including universal health care and building more housing.

-- LAist staff

8 P.M. POLLS CLOSE IN CALIFORNIA -- STAY TUNED FOR RESULTS

The polls officially closed at 8 p.m. here in California, though if you were in line as of 8 p.m., you can stay in line and still get your vote counted.

House seats here in California will be a key part of Democrats' fight to take control of the House of Representatives. The Associated Press sites four Republican seats in Orange County as being key, along with three seats to the north.

Republicans will maintain control of the Senate, according to NPR's projections.

Voting's been high nationally, including here in Southern California -- Orange County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Neal Kelley said that counting ballots could go on for five to seven days.

-- LAist staff

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The after-work crowd lines up to vote at the polls at 6 p.m. in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Susanica Tam for LAist) (Susanica Tam for LAist)

6:45 P.M. L.A. COUNTY VOTERS GET VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOTS THEY DIDN'T ASK FOR

When it comes to problems with voting, there have been reports by voters that they received vote-by-mail ballots when they weren't requested, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan told KPCC. Logan said a "considerable number" of voters showed up to vote in person only to be told they were on the list to vote by mail.

If you receive a vote-by-mail ballot, you may turn in your blank ballot and still vote at the polls.

Logan said he'd talked to the California secretary of state about the issue and noted that the issue appeared be "related to voters who may have had a transaction with the DMV."

The state also allows Election Day registration, but the only place to do it in L.A. County is at the registrar's office -- Logan said that they'd had hourslong lines all day with people registering there to vote.

Logan said that voting was looking to be much higher than usual this year. There were signs indicating this starting over the past couple weekends in early voting, according to Logan.

-- Nick Roman with Mike Roe & Megan Garvey

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File: An "I Voted" sticker included in a mail-in ballot package is seen at a Ballot Party at a private residence in Laguna Niguel, in Orange County, Oct. 24, 2018. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

5:04 P.M. WE'VE GOT STRONG VOTE-BY-MAIL NUMBERS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Southern California's two counties with the largest populations are posting big vote-by-mail numbers, an indication of the intense interest in this year's election contests.

In Los Angeles County, home to more than 5 million voters, election officials said today they'd received 782,810 ballots through the mail. That's far more than the 577,023 tallied four years ago -- and the 2018 number's certain to rise as ballots continue to stream in. By law, any ballot postmarked by Election Day and received by Friday can be counted.

The numbers in Orange County were also impressive -- registrar Neal Kelley told LAist that 440,328 mail ballots have arrived so far. On Election Day 2014, Orange County had received 306,323.

Kelley told Larry Mantle on KPCC's AirTalk that 50,000 ballots had arrived today alone. "That's historic, Larry. I've never seen 50,000 arrive on a Tuesday, ever," Kelley said.

In San Bernardino County, election officials said 175,377 mail ballots had been returned. That's almost identical to the number of vote-by-mail ballots counted in the county in 2014, and more are certain to arrive in the coming days.

In Ventura County, 155,832 vote-by-mail ballots had arrived by last night, a figure approaching the 2014 mail vote total of 119,111.

Some mail ballots received this year won't be counted, if the signatures on the ballots don't match the ones on file. So comparisons to 2014 vote tallies are approximate -- those represent the number of votes counted, not received.

It's not clear how the rise in mail ballots in highly populated counties like L.A. and Orange County will contribute to voter turnout, which is expected to rise this year. More voters opting to cast a ballot at home could mean fewer heading to the polls, though Orange County Registrar Kelley said "turnout in the polling places today have almost matched 2014 exactly hour-by-hour."

Increasing numbers of voters are opting to receive their ballots through the mail. The agency shipped out 2.7 million mail ballots this year, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder spokesman Mike Sanchez said -- a sharp rise from about 1.6 million in 2014.

-- Aaron Mendelson

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Lawrence Smith after voting in Rowland Heights. (Photo by Emily Dugdale/KPCC)

4:41 P.M. WHY THIS CONSERVATIVE VOTED FOR THE DEMOCRAT RUNNING IN HIS DISTRICT

Rowland Heights is a diverse neighborhood in California's 39th House district, but it's largely Asian-American. Most voters there spoke about coming to vote today because that's what they've always done -- there's a strong sense of voting as a duty.

Lawrence Smith's lived in Rowland Heights for 40 years. He's a Vietnam veteran and a gun supporter, but voted for Democrat Gil Cisneros for the open congressional seat.

The reason why: Young Kim's vote against concealed carry. He didn't like the current representative in the seat, Ed Royce, who's retiring from the seat. Smith said Royce didn't do anything for the community.

"The old guy, Royce, he just... was a waste of protoplasm, so to speak, in my opinion. Was that harsh?" Smith said.

He also thinks Kim would just tow the party line in terms of what Republicans want at the national level, Smith said, and he doesn't agree with that.

"She's trying to distance herself from what's going on, but I believe she'd fall right in step," Smith said.

He talked about the importance of the midterms.

"Every election is important, and in some way, midterm elections are more important than national elections," Smith said. "People have a tendency to turn out every four years, and then sit back and expect those people there to do it, but where the real sausage is made is at the state and local level."

-- Emily Dugdale

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Mailed in ballots sit in U.S. Postal Service bins inside the office of the Stanislaus County Clerk on November 6, 2018 in Modesto, California. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images) (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

3:24 P.M. HOW'S THAT BALLOT COUNT COMING?

If you're following California election results, get ready to wait. The polls close at 8 p.m. tonight and that's when the counting ramps up -- but it can take weeks to finish.

In L.A. County, the first election results from vote-by-mail ballots should post around 8:30 p.m.

Then, votes cast at polling places will begin to arrive at the Registrar-Recorder's offices in Norwalk, in what spokesman Mike Sanchez called "a wave of ballots." Starting at around 9:30 p.m., you can expect about two updates an hour.

Sheriff's deputies transport ballots -- sometimes by boat or helicopter -- from distant locales like Catalina Island and Palmdale. They're inspected by election workers in Norwalk before being fed into card readers that tally up votes.

The registrar doesn't expect large numbers of ballots to arrive until at least 10:30 p.m. So if you're closely following the fate of a specific race, get ready for a late night.

In fact, election officials won't even have every ballot when this evening. Vote by mail ballots can arrive as late as Friday, as long as they're postmarked by Election Day. In L.A. County, the registrar plans as many as eight updates in the weeks following the election.

Counties have a month to report the final results.

-- Aaron Mendelson

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Armine Vorperian, right, with her mother vote in Sylmar on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in the midterm elections. (Photo by Sharon McNary/LAist)

1:36 P.M. PASSIONS ARE RUNNING HIGH

We've had our reporters out and about at polling places today. Reporter Sharon McNary says the numbers of people out voting seems about the same as in past elections but the emotional level of voters is "way up." In Sylmar, she met Armine Vorperian who said, "I've never missed an election, and this is the most important election I've ever voted in and it's not even a presidential one." Vorperian was concerned about women's reproductive rights. But it seemed like everybody who voted had an issue that compelled them.

Jesus Gonzalez, also of Sylmar, is a businessman who owns property. He's concerned about some of the issues on the ballot that could affect him, especially the rent control measure, Prop 10. "People have been misinformed about a lot of things and people need to do their homework before they vote," Gonzalez said.

Gabriel Bulnes of North Hollywood is a naturalized U.S. citizen who immigrated from Mexico. He is upset with the Trump administration's heated rhetoric over immigrants. "It has to be a profound feeling to be here and make a difference," Bulnes said.

--Sharon McNary

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Buena Park voter Gordon Myers. (Photo by Caleigh Wells/LAist)

12:42 P.M. SCENES FROM A POLLING BOOTH

Actually, these are scenes from several polling booths.

When asked why he voted, Gordon Meyer of Buena Park said, "To keep things the way they are, right now, with Trump policies." He added, "I think people are going to be surprised. I think it's going to be a red wave again, because people like myself don't answer to polls. I never get polled and I don't know anyone who's been polled, so I think the Democrats might be in for a surprise again as they were in 2016."

Rachel Romero lives in the part of Westminster within California's contested 48th district said she's voting because she wants to protect the rights of her kids and of immigrants. She's especially concerned about healthcare and immigration and sher hopes the district flipsfrom red to blue.

Michael Blosser of Long Beach recalled his first time voting, in 1984. He was 20 and voted for Ronald Reagan. "It was the first time that I felt I was part of the bigger picture and I could actually do something that contributed to the well being of this country," Blosser said.

--Sharon McNary and Carla Javier and Caleigh Wells

12:02 P.M. 'CONCERNING' SCENE AT A POLLING STATION IN BOYLE HEIGHTS

Voter Kristen Lepore (a former KPCC staffer) tweeted photos of a polling station, seemingly in disarray, in Boyle Heights late this morning.

She reported the poll worker there said he had "paid people off the street who have no training to help manage the operation."

Lepore alerted Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, who said his office was looking into it.

-- Ryan Fonseca/LAist

11:42 A.M. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIANS TELL US WHY THEY VOTED TODAY

David Lerose, who voted in Fullerton this morning, said one problem plaguing the election process is Americans who aren't paying enough attention to the issues that would most affect them.

"I've talked to people that didn't know their healthcare was at risk or could have been at risk," Lerose said. "They have to pay attention. That's democracy, it's your job to pay attention."

"Just vote your pocketbook. If you're a one percenter you vote one way, if you're not a one percenter, vote the other way."

11:10 A.M. LA COUNTY'S TOP ELECTION OFFICIAL IS HAVING A BUSY DAY ON TWITTER

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan has a long job title and even longer mentions today. Logan has some help on his account, because when it's Election Day and you're one @ away from every voter in the county, things get busy.

Just a reminder that we have a handy guide for how to deal with problems at the polls today.

-- Ryan Fonseca/LAist

10:14 A.M. MISSING EQUIPMENT, VOTER ROLL PROBLEMS AND OTHER 'MINOR ISSUES' REPORTED IN LA COUNTY

Some Angelenos planning to vote at the Skirball Cultural Center this morning left without casting their ballots, after discovering that ballot recorder equipment was missing.

The reason? The site's polling inspector had left at least one ballot recorder at home, according to Mike Sanchez, spokesman for the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office.

At about 9:50 a.m., the inspector was currently en route back from his residence to the Skirball Center with the equipment, Sanchez said.

"The voting still has never stopped," Sanchez said, explaining that sample ballots were available for voters to fill out and turn in to inspectors, who then place them in the ballot box. Sanchez referred to it as a "modified process" but said no voters had been turned away, despite a tweet from one voter to the contrary.

Despite the "slight mishap", Sanchez said the morning was off to a smooth start in the county, with "a couple minor issues, but it happens given size and scope."

-- Ryan Fonseca/LAist

9:16 A.M. SYLMAR VOTERS HAVE THEIR SAY

9:10 A.M. SLOW START IN FULLERTON

9 A.M. DON'T LET PARKING KEEP YOU FROM THE POLLS IN L.A.

The city of Los Angeles announced parking regulations will be relaxed today in an effort to make voting easier for Angelenos. The major changes to note:

  • Parking meters are free within one block of polling places.
  • Parking time limits are relaxed within one block of polling places.
  • Parking restrictions due to street cleaning have been suspended within one block of polling places.

And if you or someone you know is in need of a free or discounted ride to the polls today, you have options, including free rides all day on L.A. Metro trains and buses.

-- Ryan Fonseca/LAist

8:24 A.M. WILL LONGER LINES MEAN HIGHER TURNOUT?

7:45 A.M. BUSY MORNING IN NEWHALL

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(Photo by Sharon McNary/LAist)

A gym in Newhall has been very busy for the first hour of voting. Eleven voters were in line when it opened up at 7 a.m.

One voter there, Eric Jensen, said this is a critical election. He's a non-partisan voter who grew up in a household with one Republican parent and one Democrat. But he doesn't recognize either. He's independent and wants the country to come back to the middle.

"I think the country is more divided and it sounds like there's going to be more of a turnout this year, hopefully," Jensen said.

He hopes his vote improves the direction to the country.

-- Sharon McNary/LAist

6 A.M. IT'S ELECTION DAY. HERE'S YOUR LAST-MINUTE CHEAT SHEET

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Actor Andrew Keegan shows his 'I Voted' sticker after voting with his daughter Aiya at the Venice Beach Lifeguard station in California, on Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Well, we're finally here: It's Election Day for the 2018 midterms. Midterms aren't usually as splashy as presidential elections, but need we remind you, this is a pretty big one -- our votes will determine control of the House, the next governor of California and the future of gas taxes and housing affordability across the state.

Here's everything you need to know before you head to the polls:

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Here's where you can find out where your polling place is. It's fine to bring notes or a sample ballot in with you, and yes, voting booth selfies are allowed now. If you're definitely registered but your name's been somehow left off the voter rolls, you can still vote provisionally.

Not registered to vote? No worries. You can conditionally register if you go to your county elections office or other eligible location, and cast your ballot there. Here's more info on that.

If you filled out a vote-by-mail ballot, you can turn it in at your polling place. Otherwise, make sure it's postmarked by today so it'll count. You can track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot here. If you received a vote-by-mail ballot but prefer to vote in person, you can do that, too -- just bring your vote-by-mail ballot and turn it in so you don't have to vote provisionally.

And here's your last-minute cram session on the races to know about:

-- LAist staff


Have any questions? Find ones we've already answered here, or else ask us below:

UPDATES:

Nov. 27: This article was updated with the latest election results.

CORRECTION:

The early results shown in the gubernatorial race were incorrect, with the numbers for John Cox and Gavin Newsom swapped due to a data error -- Newsom was leading Cox, not the other way around. Lawrence Smith was initially misidentified. LAist regrets the errors.