Early voting opens Tuesday as High Desert voters get say on San Bernardino County, California issues
High Desert residents can expect to receive ballots for the Nov. 8 election in their mailboxes this week as early voting opens in San Bernardino County.
One early voting location opens Tuesday, Sept. 11, for ballot drop-offs on weekdays: the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office at 777 East Rialto Ave., San Bernardino.
A few more sites in the High Desert will open Nov. 1:
- Victorville City Hall, at 14343 Civic Drive
- The Town of Apple Valley Recreation Center, at 14955 Dale Evans Parkway
- The Joshua Tree Community Center, at 6171 Sunburst Street
The voter registration deadline is Oct. 24 for the November election when High Desert residents will get a say on a number of ballot measures and electoral races with implications across the county and state.
See here:Daily Press's 2022 High Desert Election coverage all in one place
San Bernardino County Measure D
Measure D asks all San Bernardino County voters if the county charter should be amended to change the tax implementation process, place a ceiling on the salaries of elected county supervisors and revise the rules for term limits on supervisors.
The measure would specifically require that any tax increase proposed by the county must pass the Board of Supervisors by a four-fifths vote of approval, then get approval from voters as a ballot item in the next statewide general election.
The annual base salary of elected supervisors would be capped at 80% of the base salary of San Bernardino County Superior Court judges. For any term limits imposed as a result of Measure K — a 2020 election item that passed but has since been ruled unconstitutional in court, a ruling now being appealed — this measure states that no such limit would apply to any terms served by the second and fourth district supervisors prior to January 2023, and by the first, third and fifth district supervisors prior to January 2025.
If 51% or more of voters choose “yes” on Measure D, these changes would be imposed as a direct amendment to the county charter.
San Bernardino County Measure EE
Measure EE asks the electorate if they would or would not support secession of San Bernardino County, the largest county by area in the U.S., from California, potentially to form its own state.
The question asked by Measure EE, specifically: “Do the people of San Bernardino County want San Bernardino County elected representatives to study and advocate for all options to obtain the County’s fair share of state funding, up to and including secession from the State of California?”
It is as an advisory vote to inform future potential actions by the elected Board of Supervisors, and won't immediately change the county charter.
A few local measures also pertain to residents in the High Desert.
Measure H asks if Barstow voters would like to reorganize the city’s elected government structure by ending its current system of four district-elected City Council members and one elected-at-large mayor, converting it to five district-elected members with a mayor appointed among those five.
Yucca Valley Measure K: TOT
Measure K asks if voters in the Town of Yucca Valley would like to raise the town’s “transient occupancy tax,” otherwise known as a rooms tax paid by those who stay in local hotels, motels and short-term vacation rentals, from the current rate of 7% to a new rate of 12%.
Needles Measure N: TOT
Transient occupancy tax is also the subject of Measure N in the City of Needles, asking if voters would like to expand the city’s existing room tax by applying it to short-term residential properties and rental units.
House District 8: Obernolte versus Marshall
Jay Obernolte, a Republican and the High Desert’s current U.S. House of Representatives member in District 8, faces off against Democratic challenger Derek Marshall on the November ballot in a race for newly-drawn District 23.
House District 28: Chu versus Hallman
The other congressional race for High Desert voters to consider is for District 28 between incumbent U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat currently representing District 27, and Republican challenger Wes Hallman.
California Assembly District 34
At the State Assembly level, a Republican-on-Republican battle pits two incumbent assemblymen, Thurston “Smitty” Smith and Tom Lackey, in a runoff that stems from a tight outcome in the June primary election for the 34th Assembly District seat.
California Assembly District 39
Separately, in a race for newly drawn State Assembly District 39, Democrat and Palmdale City Councilman Juan Carrillo faces off against Republican and former Victorville Planning Commissioner Paul Andre Marsh.
California Assembly District 41
A third race for State Assembly District 41 pits incumbent Democrat Chris Holden against Republican challenger Michael McMahon.
Gov. Gavin Newsom faces his second challenger in the two years after trouncing Republican Larry Elder in a September 2021 recall effort. This year, Newsom faces Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle, who has pitched himself as a pragmatic counter to the “elitist Democrat” and “dictator” currently in office.
Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, faces Nathan Hochman on the November ballot. Bonta has held the job of top lawmaker in California since 2021, while Hochman seeks to become the first Republican to win the job since 2006.
Democrat and incumbent California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara faces state Assemblyman Marc Levine, also a Democrat, in a race to decide who will run the California Department of Insurance.
A number of statewide propositions are also on the ballot.
Proposition 1 is a pitch by California’s top Democrats to amend the state constitution with provisions making abortion a fundamental right in explicit language. The proposition, which passed both chambers of the state legislature in June on news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s plan to repeal Roe vs. Wade, would specifically bar the state from interfering with a person’s right to choose an abortion or contraceptives.
A look back:Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade draws praise, criticism from High Desert
Two propositions lay out a pitch to legalize sports gambling in different ways.
Proposition 26 would legalize sports gambling on an in-person basis only at casinos run by tribal governments and designated horse tracks. It would also allow tribes to offer dice-based gambling games such as roulette.
Separately, Proposition 27 would legalize sports gambling online but limit the providers of this Internet betting to certified gaming tribes and established companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel.
More:9 graphics show the state of sports betting and gambling in California
Proposition 28 would require California to set aside a share of its state revenue, potentially up to $1 billion per year, for the funding of arts and education classes with a specific focus on schools with a large number of low-income students.
Proposition 29 would impose a range of new regulations on dialysis clinics, a major one being that a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant must be present on-site at all such clinics during all treatment hours. It would also require that all centers publicly disclose any doctors who own at least a 5% stake in any such clinics, and that these centers must get state approval before closing or reducing services at any clinics.
Proposition 30 would create a new 1.75% income tax against any individual making more than $2 million a year for the purpose of funding greenhouse-gas reduction initiatives, chief among them being incentives for consumers to buy electric cars.
Proposition 31 is a chance for voters to reconsider a ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products in California that was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020. A “yes” vote on this proposition would be to maintain the ban, while a “no” vote means getting rid of the ban on such tobacco products.
Charlie McGee covers California’s High Desert for the Daily Press, focusing on the city of Barstow and its surrounding communities. He is also a Report for America corps member with The GroundTruth Project, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and around the world. McGee may be reached at 760-955-5341 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bycharliemcgee.