KPBS Special Coverage: Election Day 2012
After months of being inundated with political ads, televised debates, and endless commentary, voters in San Diego County and across the nation head to the polls today.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
KPBS ELECTION COVERAGE
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In addition to picking a presidential candidate, San Diego County voters will choose new mayors, a county supervisor, council members, congressional representatives and a variety of state and local ballot measures. Here are some races to watch:
California's 52nd Congressional District between Republican Incumbent Brian Bilbray and Democrat Scott Peters has been a top target for deep-pocketed political action committees and other groups because newly drawn congressional districts could play a major role in deciding which party controls the House of Representatives.
SAN DIEGO MAYOR
The hotly contested San Diego Mayor's race pits Carl DeMaio, a Republican city councilman against Democratic Congressman Bob Filner. DeMaio is a driving force behind voter-approved reform of city workers' pensions and what he calls wasteful spending. Filner is backed by labor, who opposed pension reform. The race is officially nonpartisan, but political parties have provided enormous financial support, and their endorsements carry weight with voters who tend to follow a party line.
State propositions include Proposition 34, which would repeal the California death penalty; Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise billions of dollars in tax revenue and prevent huge cuts to education; and Proposition 35, which would send sex traffickers to prison for up to a life term. Here's a look at more state propositions.
Many school districts across the county have bonds on the ballot. The largest, San Diego Unified's Proposition Z, asks voters to raise their property taxes to pay for $2.8 billion in borrowing and repayment costs.
SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL
Voters in the northern part of the city of San Diego will decide whether to retain incumbent San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner or replace her with businessman Ray Ellis in the race for District 1. If Lightner wins, Democrats will keep control of the officially nonpartisan body. An Ellis victory would give Republicans a 5-4 majority.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES
Activists in four cities in San Diego County have placed measures on the ballot to authorize medical marijuana dispensaries, including Imperial Beach (Proposition S), Solana Beach (Proposition W), Del Mar (Proposition H) and Lemon Grove (Propositions T and Q). But even if these measures pass, there are no guarantees that any medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate.
The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. To find your polling place, visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voters' website, www.sdvote.com.