Santa Cruz County primary election 2022 guide

A voter submits a ballot at a drop box
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Election season is ramping up ahead of the statewide primary June 7. We know that untangling all the ballot information, positions up for election and deadlines can be a hassle to say the least. Luckily, Lookout has you covered.

In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the upcoming election, including the most pertinent ballot measures and where you can cast your vote.

We will continuously update this guide to include the most recent news and relevant information. Have a question about the election process? Let us know at elections@lookoutlocal.com.

When is the election?

The primary election is June 7, 2022. The general election will be Nov. 8, 2022.

What’s on the ballot?

Local races

Click the candidate’s name to see their statement, contact information and link to their website.

Member of the Assembly 28th District

Gail Pellerin (D), retired county clerk

Liz Lawler (R), City of Monte Sereno council member

Joe Thompson (D), union organizer

Rob Rennie (D), Los Gatos mayor/decarbonization advocate

Member of the Assembly 30th District

Vicki Nohrden (R), nonprofit director/educator

Zoe G. Carter (D), Monterey city committeewoman/businesswoman

Jon Wizard (D), Seaside city council member/housing policymaker

Dawn Addis (D), San Luis Obispo city council member/teacher

John R. Drake (D), San Luis Obispo community activist, housing policy director

County Supervisor, 3rd District

Justin Cummings, Santa Cruz city councilmember, environmental science educator

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Santa Cruz city councilmember/project manager

Ami Chen Mills, nonprofit director/educator

County Supervisor, 4th District

Felipe Hernandez, Cabrillo College trustee

Ed Acosta, agriculture manager/Santa Cruz County Board of Education trustee

Jimmy Dutra, Watsonville city councilmember/teacher

For more information on statewide races and candidates, visit the Voter’s Edge website. The page is also available in Spanish here.

Local measures

Measure B - County Transient Occupancy Tax: Measure to decide if Santa Cruz County will increase its existing Transient Occupancy Tax, paid by tourists and others staying overnight at lodging facilities in unincorporated areas, from 11% to 12% for hotels/motels/inns, and to 14% for rental properties, providing about $2. 3 million annually until ended by voters.

The revenue is intended to fund county essential public services including wildfire prevention, emergency response/recovery, street repair, public/mental health services, homelessness programs and affordable housing.

Measure C - County Disposable Cup Tax: Measure to decide if 12.5 cents of Santa Cruz County’s existing single-use cup charge of 25 cents will be collected as a tax, raising about $700,000 annually and requiring public spending reports, until ended by voters.

The measure is designed to reduce pollution, trash and plastics entering local waters and beaches; protect water quality, public health and marine life; address illegal dumping; help prevent wildfires; clean/maintain parks and public areas; and provide environmental education and other general services.

Measure D - Santa Cruz County Greenway Initiative: Measure to amend the circulation element of the county’s general plan related to use of the Santa Cruz Branch Line Rail Corridor as set forth in the Santa Cruz County Greenway Initiative Petition.

If adopted, Measure D would remove all references to railroad maintenance, rail transit planning and the like from the county’s general plan.

Measure E - Santa Cruz City District Elections: Measure to decide if the Santa Cruz City Charter will be amended to provide for a directly elected at-large mayor, six council districts, updated rules on term limits and runoff elections.

The measure is designed to comply with the California Voting Rights Act and promote more diversity and provide greater accountability of elected officials to residents in all city neighborhoods, while maintaining city leadership focused on the interests of the whole community.

Measure F - Santa Cruz City Sales and Use Tax Question: Measure to determine if voters will authorize the City of Santa Cruz to increase its general fund by levying an additional 0.05% — one half of 1 percent — sales tax, raising about $6 million annually.

The measure is designed to support resources to mitigate the impacts of homelessness, create affordable housing, reduce wildfire risk, maintain city facilities and essential infrastructure, fix streets, support downtown, maintain parks and recreation facilities for youth and seniors, and fight climate change.

How does the primary work?

All candidates for voter-nominated (partisan) offices are listed on one ballot and only the top two vote-getters in the primary election — regardless of party preference — move on to the general election. Write-in candidates for voter-nominated offices can run in only the primary election. A write-in candidate will move on to the general election only if the candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election.

Any candidate for a nonpartisan office who at a primary election receives a
majority of the votes cast shall be elected to that office. The office shall not appear on the general election ballot,
notwithstanding the death, resignation, or other disqualification of the
candidate at a time subsequent to the primary election.

Candidates running for a voter-nominated office cannot run in the general election without having been one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election.

When/how do I register?

You can register up to and on election day.

If you register or re-register on or before May 23, 2022, you can register using the online, phone or in-person methods as listed below.

If you register or re-register after May 23, you will need to complete the same-day voter registration form and request your ballot in person at your county elections office or polling location.

Online

Those eligible to vote and those under the age of 18 wishing to register for future elections may do so online at the California Online Voter Registration website.

To register online, you will need:

  • Your California driver license or ID card.
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Your date of birth.

Unsure if you’re already registered? You can check your registration status as well as where you’re registered and your registered party preference on California’s My Voter Status website.

By phone

You can request that a voter registration card be mailed to you by calling the Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections office at 831-454-2060 or 866-282-5900

In person

You can complete a voter registration card at the Santa Cruz County Elections Office located at 701 Ocean St., Room 310. Voter registration cards are also available at many public locations in Santa Cruz County including U.S. post offices, public libraries and Department of Motor Vehicles offices, as well as many government offices.

Vote by mail

Your ballot must be postmarked on or before election day and received no later than June 10, 2022, to be considered on time. Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent to every registered voter and start going out as early as May 9.

You can track when your ballot has been mailed, received and counted at California’s Where’s My Ballot? website.

Polling places

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 7, election day.

The official polling places for the June 7 election will not be finalized until May 5. Check back then to see the designated polling locations.

Accessible voting

All voting locations will be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Poll workers will be available to assist voters with disabilities to cast their vote using either a paper ballot or an ADA-compliant tablet. You can also download an audio version of the Official Voter Information Guide.

To read about all the options that are available to make voting accessible, you can visit Santa Cruz County’s Voters With Disabilities page and learn about options for accessible voting from home.

You can also find information about voting while homeless and voting from jail.