Candidates on the 2020 ballot:
Incumbent: President Donald J. Trump (presumptive), Republican
Challenger: Joe Biden, Democrat
U.S. House of Reps, District 33
Incumbent: Ted W. Lieu, Democrat
Challenger: James P. Bradley, Republican
California State Senate, District 27
Incumbent: Henry Stern,
Challenger: Houman Salem, Republican
California State Assembly,
Incumbent: Richard Bloom, Democrat
Challenger: Will Hess, Democrat
Malibu City Council (Choose 3)
Incumbent: Rick Mullen
Bruce Lee Silverstein
Registering to vote
Register to vote by visiting the California Secretary of State website at covr.sos.ca.gov, or by filling out a paper voter registration application at any Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office or most libraries or government offices. The deadline to register is at least 15 days before Election Day; however, same-day voter registration is available in the State of California. “In most elections you may visit your county elections office, a vote center, or a satellite office designated by your county elections official during the 14 days prior to, and including Election Day to conditionally register to vote and vote a provisional ballot,” according to the secretary of state’s website.
The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3, 2020, election is Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.
Voting by mail
All registered voters in LA County have been mailed a vote by mail address confirmation notice, according to the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office. “Beginning with the Nov. 3, 2020, general election, all registered voters will be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot to ensure a safe and accessible voting option during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the site stated. “Mailing of Vote by Mail ballots in all elections begins 29 days prior to Election Day.” Vote by Mail ballots must be delivered by close of polls on Nov. 3, 2020, at any vote center or Vote by Mail drop box location in LA County, or mailed. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3, 2020, and received by your county elections office no later than Nov. 20, 2020.
While voting by mail has long been popular in The Golden State, concerns have recently been raised—highlighted by remarks by President Donald Trump—over the ability of the U.S. Post Office to handle the projected influx of mailed-in ballots this fall.
On Tuesday, Aug. 18, radio host A Martínez of KPCC’s Take Two interviewed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra about the outlook for voting by mail in California.
“So, for people that are going to rely on mail-in ballots this election year, what’s your message to them?” Martínez asked Becerra. “If no one wants to go into a polling place because they’re afraid of possibly infecting themselves or any kind of other fear, what do you have to say to people who are planning on using mail-in ballots?”
“Vote,” Becerra replied. “And vote as if your life and your future depended on it, because it does. And vote in person or vote by mail. I guarantee that in California we’re going to do everything to make sure that when you vote, your vote will get counted, regardless of what this administration does. Either because we keep him to task under the law or because we make sure that in California we’ve got everything in place to make sure that those votes will get counted. But, certainly, if you want to stay safe and away from COVID-19 and you decide to vote at home through the mail, we’re here to tell you that it will be safe and it will be counted.”
Voters may check registration status by visiting voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.
Other voting locations
As in the March 2020 primary elections, LA County voters may submit a ballot at any county vote center; final information on the location of vote centers for the fall election was still forthcoming. Information on locations will be made available “30-40 days before Election Day,” according to the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
Local controversy over qualifying candidates
While eight candidates’ names appear in the Malibu City Council race this year, nine prospective candidates submitted paperwork to run in this year’s council race. One of the nine, Alia Ollikainen, did not produce the minimum number of signatures needed to be nominated for the council race, according to a review by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office. However, Ollikainen and her supporters have argued that the county’s assessment of her eligibility was flawed.
On her election website on Tuesday afternoon, Ollikainen wrote that she was “effectively being blocked for running for Malibu City Council by the City of Malibu.”
Among her complaints, Ollikainen wrote that one of her signatures was rejected because someone’s spouse wrote their home address for two separate entries; two were rejected because the person had already nominated three other candidates; one was not a registered voter; one was not registered in the city; and two were registered at a different address within the city.
“So here I am… A non-political nobody with a strong heart trying to do right by Malibu and fight to serve the community and environment I wish to preserve from beverlyhillification and I get bricks thrown at me,” Ollikainen wrote in a post last weekend. “I still do not know who exactly made this evaluation of my nomination paper, however it is plainly obvious that my ascension is being thwarted by some very thin red tape.”
In response to complaints, City Attorney Christi Hogin sent a detailed reply that was later shared with The Malibu Times by a supporter of Ollikainen. Hogin addressed each complaint in her email, adding that “The City Clerk routinely recommends that candidates file their papers early so that the candidates have the benefit of the procedure to correct deficiencies within the filing period.”
Fellow candidate Bruce Lee Silverstein jumped to Ollikainen’s defense. In emails shared with The Malibu Times, Silverstein accused Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin of “repeatedly mis-advise”ing the city council, calling her “shameless” and accusing her of “sabotaging” Ollikainen.