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Ballots sent out for California Assembly District 80 special election

Ballots are on their way out today for the Assembly District 80 race. KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere says there are three candidates vying for the position, which was left vacant by former assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez.

Democrats David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez, and Republican Lincoln Pickard are campaigning for California’s 80th Assembly District in an upcoming special election.

The district encompasses the southern part of San Diego and most of Chula Vista and National City.

It was previously represented in the state Assembly by Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, but she resigned in January to lead the California Labor Federation.


RELATED: Lorena Gonzalez resigns from Assembly, returns to labor roots

Gov. Gavin Newsom set the special election for April 5 with a runoff on June 7. But this won't be the only election ahead for District 80 voters. The special election is just to fill out Gonzalez's term, which was set to end in December.

There will also be a regular election for the Assembly District 80 seat with that primary on the same day as the potential special election runoff, June 7.

The regular election runoff will take place in November if needed.

Ballot Marking Device.jpg
San Diego County Registrar of Voters
A woman uses a touchscreen ballot marking devices at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters in this undated photo.

“We want people to understand that this is a special election and that there's another primary happening in June, and then another election happening in November,” Alliance San Diego associate director Christopher Rice-Wilson said. “So we have plenty of opportunities to vote this year and we want voters to participate in all of them.”

RELATED: With Gonzalez resigning, two big names vie for her Assembly seat

Another complication: the special election applies to the old District 80 boundaries while the regular election is for those in the district’s new borders, created after the 2020 census.

The registrar of voters said people can look up their districts at

Two people walk into a polling place in National City to vote in the gubernatorial recall election, Sept. 14, 2021.
Andrew Bowen
Two people walk into a polling place in National City to vote in the gubernatorial recall election, Sept. 14, 2021.

For all of the elections, Rice-Wilson said they're encouraging residents to exercise their right to vote by knocking on doors, calling phones and reaching out to audiences digitally.

“Folks are not required to vote by mail, there will be polling locations where people can vote. And people can also vote in the Registrar's Office and vote. And we’ll be making sure that residents in the AD [Assembly District] 80 know those methods to vote,” he said.

RELATED: Former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez endorses Georgette Gómez for District 80 seat, other contenders fighting for role

The Registrar of Voters provides ballots and all election materials in multiple languages.

There’s a March 21 deadline to register to vote in the special election. Anyone who misses that date can still register and vote, they just need to go to the Registrar's office or any vote center through the special election day, on April 5.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office in Kearny Mesa, Nov. 3, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office in Kearny Mesa, Nov. 3, 2020.

“Starting March 7, voters can vote from the comfort of their home and return their voted ballot through the mail (no postage needed), to one of the Registrar’s official ballot drop box locations, or to any vote center in the district,” San Diego County Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paes said.

RELATED: As He Leaves City Council, David Alvarez Turns Attention To Border Relations

She said residents who prefer in-person voting have that option too.

“Five vote centers will be open daily starting Saturday, March 26 through Monday, April 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Election Day, Tuesday, April 5, nine vote centers will be open throughout the district from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Early in-person voting is also available at the Registrar’s office starting March 7, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Paes said.