Over 19 million voters in California are eligible to cast ballots in today's primary election. The stakes are high and the results far from certain.
4:45 P.M.: MAKING A CASE FOR THE MIDTERMS
From his polling station in Hollywood Hills, Thomas Francisco took a selfie with a friend and the American flag right after he finished voting.
Francisco says he's not prone to taking selfies, but he wanted to put out a message to his friends on social media that midterm elections matter.
"In general, most Americans really only tend to want to vote for presidential elections and they don't put time or effort into thinking about state and local elections, which immediately affect us all more readily than ... some of the federal changes."
Francisco says voters shouldn't overlook Congressional races and campaigns for other local offices.
— Sharon McNary, KPCC
2:20 P.M.: WE ASKED, YOU ANSWERED. HERE ARE SOME RESPONSES TO OUR #WHYIVOTED CALLOUT
11:19 A.M.: 5 CALIFORNIA RACES TO WATCH
- Judgement day has arrived for Aaron Persky. He's the Santa Clara County judge who infuriated people by sentencing Stanford student Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Now, voters could bench him.
- San Francisco will elect a new mayor after the sudden death of Ed Lee in December 2017. The city could make history by choosing its first African-American woman, Asian-American woman or openly gay man as mayor.
- In the San Joaquin Valley, Devin Nunes will almost certainly make it past the primary. Come November, Democrats will work hard to unseat him. Nunes made a name for himself as the author of the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation memo.
- Also in the San Joaquin Valley, a beekeeper, the venture capitalist behind Blue Apron and the daughter of immigrant farm workers are fighting to face off against Republican Jeff Denham, who narrowly won the 10th District in 2016.
- Near San Diego, Republican Duncan Hunter is fighting for his political career. The FBI is investigating whether he spent campaign money on personal expenses. He has also been accused of inappropriate relationships with women and drinking on the job, which he denies.
10:13 A.M.: HERE'S WHAT KPCC REPORTERS ARE SEEING AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA POLLING PLACES THIS MORNING
The next county over in Fullerton, Lupe Uribe says she's one of the Orange County voters who is leaning Democratic in the long-time Republican stronghold.
Although Democrats are worried that the top two primary system could end up shutting out their candidates, this voter says it gives her a wider choice of candidates.
"It feels a little bit more democratic to me," she said.
Uribe was voting at a church on Chapman Avenue in Fullerton.
— Sharon McNary, KPCC
7 A.M.: PRIMARY ELECTION POLLS OPEN ACROSS THE STATE
Polling locations across the state open this morning. Be sure you bring your identification, and if you received a mail ballot but decided to cast it in person, bring that along as well.
Our special coverage of today's election continues throughout the day and into the evening on KPCC 89.3.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE POLLS
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Registered to vote and looking for your polling place? Visit the Secretary of State's website.
At the top of the state ballot, a bunch of candidates for governor are fighting to be among the two who will move on to the general election in November. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has a wide lead in the polls and will likely make the cut. But the race for the number two spot is on. Republican John Cox and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are scrambling to survive the primary.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is seeking reelection, pressed by progressives who feel she has been far too moderate and accommodating to President Trump. Fellow Democrat, Kevin de León, the former state Senate president pro tem, is her closest competitor, but Feinstein's lead in the polls is substantial. Nonetheless, the top two vote-getters in today's election continue on to the general election.
National attention is riveted on a few of California's key congressional races — critical in Democrats' attempts to take back the U.S. House. Epicenter for that effort is Orange County, where the Republicans' longtime hold on the region is slipping. When Hillary Clinton won there in the 2016 presidential election, it was the first time in roughly 80 years that the county had sided with a Democrat.
Two of the most closely watched Orange County congressional races were thrown wide open when GOP incumbents Ed Royce (District 39) and Darrell Issa (District 49) decided not to seek reelection. However, Republicans Mimi Walters (District 45) and Dana Rohrabacher (District 48), both staunch supporters of President Trump, are looking to return to Congress.
The state's top-two primary system, adopted by voters in 2010, worries some Democrats. With so many of its candidates on the ballot, party honchos worry that the liberal vote will be split in a district like Rohrabacher's, clearing the way for two Republicans to advance and locking out Democrats.
Five statewide measures are also on the ballot, as are candidates for lieutenant governor, state Senate and Assembly, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, insurance commissioner, controller and superintendent of public instruction
There are county and local elections as well. Los Angeles County and Orange County are both holding elections for sheriffs and candidates for Los Angeles Superior Court judgeships are also on the ballot.
We'll be watching results from across the country, statewide and in the Southern California region. Keep up right here with our live updates throughout the day and evening.