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2024 California Primary: where and how to vote, what's on your ballot?

CBS News Live
CBS News Sacramento Live

SACRAMENTO — California's March 5 primary election is just days away.

In addition to a presidential primary headlined by Democratic President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump, several key races will go in front of voters all across the state and here in Sacramento County.

Where and how to vote

Mail-in ballots for the primary began going out to registered voters in early February. Those can be filled and returned via mail if they are postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the county within the following seven days.

An interactive map shows the dozens of locations across Sacramento County where voters can cast their votes and drop off their ballots in person. You can also view lists from the county of voting centers and ballot drop-off locations.

You can also visit the California Secretary of State's website, which has a page that can direct voters to their nearest polling place in your county and city.

The deadline to register to vote for the election was February 20, however, California residents who failed to meet that deadline can still register up until election day by going into a county elections office or polling place. Find more Same Day Voter Registration information here.

Sacramento County voters can track their ballot status here. Once you vote, you can follow this schedule to keep an eye on election results updates. Others who have already cast their votes can track their ballot status here.

How late are polling locations open on election day?

Polling locations throughout California are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. You can vote as long as you are in line by 8 p.m. on election day.

What's on your ballot?

The City of Sacramento voters will decide on who will oversee city council districts 2, 4, 6, and 8, as well as appointing a new mayor. Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced last year that he would not run for re-election. Mayoral candidates are Kevin McCarty, Jose Avina, Julius Engel, Dr. Richard Pan, Dr. Flojaune Cofer, and Steve Hansen.

That District 2 race will be one to keep an eye on. Embattled former District 2 Councilman Sean Loloee resigned from his seat following a federal indictment. The nine candidates running to fill the seat are Ramona Landeros, Penelope Larry, Daryl Collins, Alicia Bledsoe, Stephen Walton, Veronica Smith, Kim Davie, Roger Dickinson and Mary L. Russell. If a candidate wins the seat outright by getting more than 50% of the vote, the council plans to appoint that person to fill the remainder of Loloee's term.

City voters will also decide on Measure C, an amended business operations tax. Here's a description of Measure C from the county website:

"Shall the measure amending the City of Sacramento's perpetual business operations tax – by increasing the gross receipts taxable threshold to $100,000, setting new flat tax rates for professionals ($684), setting new flat tax rates for nonexempt residential rentals, hotels, and short-term rentals ($114, plus 2.85/unit above thresholds), and setting new maximum annual tax liability, all with yearly cost-of-living adjustments for an estimated annual increase of $6,000,000 for general governmental use – be adopted?"  

Sacramento County will also see some key races for its board of supervisors, board of education and superior court judge.

Key races in U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate (to fill the seat left by the late Dianne Feinstein), the California Assembly and the state Senate will also be on the ballot.

California voters will also decide on Proposition 1. This prop would authorize billions of dollars in bonds to build mental health treatment facilities for those with mental health and substance use challenges as well as provide housing for the homeless.

A ballot for the presidential primary will also be included with your voting packet.

Voters in the San Joaquin County community of Mountain House will decide if their home becomes the newest San Joaquin County city by way of Measure D. Measure E is also on the ballot to decide how future city council elections in Mountain House would be enacted if Measure D passes.

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