2020 OC VOTE INFO #1: Index/Links, Introduction, & Calendar





Top row: Santa Ana Mayoral candidates Vince Sarmiento (whom we all endorse now that we know that the big and evil money is going to Solorio), Claudia Perez, Ceci Iglesias, Jose Solorio, & (the wrong) Mark Lopez (sorry). Bottom row: Anaheim City Council candidates Denise Barnes, Annemarie Randle-Trejo, Jeanine Robbins, and a deeply, deservedly, defaced Avelino Valencia.  Note: this was done in Paint, so some candidates have horrid Covid haircuts.

(Originally published Sept. 28)


This part is not the introduction.  The introduction comes after the links, because the links will soon become more important.

You may want to bookmark this post just because it will have all of the links to all of the election coverage for OC races (and maybe a few others) that we’ll have this fall.  This will include five categories of posts, each numbered separately:

  1. Voter Information. labeled “2020 OC VOTE INFO #_”
  2. Campaign News, labeled “2020 OC NEWS #_”
  3. Fact Checks, labeled “2020 OC FACTS #_”
  4. Commentary, labeled “2020 COMMENT #_”
  5. Endorsements, labeled 2020 OC ENDORSEMENTS #_”
  • The first category is “here’s the info you need about how to do XYZ”
  • The second category is for our normal news stories
  • The third category is our evaluating material for its literal and implicit truth
  • The fourth category is for our giving our opinions other than endorsements
  • The fifth category is for our specific endorsements, which we expect will be Vern, Greg, Ryan, and a variety of “experts” from various geographic areas; it will be revised often (and we’ll leave comments to alert you to updates).  We’ll have one page covering all of the races where we have an opinion, and then for various cities or categories we’ll have specific pages where our analysis is a little deeper, detailed … and possibly even nuanced.

We’ll list and number posts within each category separately.  As soon as we make endorsements, that section will move up to the top.  This will make sense once you see it in action — and if doesn’t, we’ll change it until it does!

Voter Information Links:

2020 VOTE INFO #1: Index/Links, Introduction, & Calendar [this post]

Campaign News Links:

2020 OC NEWS #_

Fact/Misleading Insinuation Checking Links

2020 OC FACTS #_”

Commentary (Not Just OC) Links

2020 COMMENT #_”

OJB Endorsements


Nationally, this has a good claim to being the most important election in our lifetimes.  (Actually, 2016 probably was, but we didn’t know it at the time.)  Nationally, we face dire choices about pandemic public heath, health insurance, climate change, race relations, white supremacy, the future of the Supreme Court, wholesale disruption of democratic norms, a sizable subculture that loves flouting them, and even threats to dispense with them entirely in national elections.  OC’s role here is relatively small, though:  yes, Democrats have to defend the eight House seats they now hold — but even losing the perhaps four competitive ones won’t matter as much this year as gaining them did in 2018.

At the state level, though, we have some significant statewide propositions — but not much of especially huge consequence on the ballot.  (Vote anyway!)  Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both houses of the legislature and a run on the State Executive branches — and it doesn’t seem to make as much of a difference as one might expect (especially given just enough internal sabotage of important legislation in committees.)  (Vote anyway!)  These races matter to the people running, of course, and there’s the importance of party building, but this year is relatively blah.  Yes, a loss by Harley Rouda or Gil Cisneros (both favored, but within reach) would be national news — but even a loss or two would be more frustrating for Dems than substantively shattering. (Vote anyway — and for Gil and Harley!)

One the local level, by contrast, some major things are happening.  Among City Councils, Santa Ana finally enters its post-Pulido era, where who knows what reform may become possible … or not.  Anaheim has its own Trumpism writ small from the Sidhu Administration, and reformers need to retain one seat and take two others to be able to roll back the giveaways — although the Sidhu recall next spring, if it happens, may give them an additional chance.  Huntington Beach faces the possibility of electing a slate of reformers, to give them a council majority, for the first time since who knows when — or it could elect a couple of the most actively racist, conspiratorial, and off-the-charts repressive candidates it has seen.  Irvine … well, Larry Agran wants back in, and it’s getting harder to care what they do.  And other cities have more dramas that we’ll try to bring you.  Everywhere,  though, the twin issues of how to respond to the pandemic and how to address police brutality will be on the ballot — and we’ll try to find out how.

But most of the real consequences will come from what happens in the relatively obscure races for various boards. Some of the Water District races may finally decide the fate of the Poseidon ripoff.  And among school board races, battles between anti-maskers and clear-thinkers may literally determine whether school children and those with whom they live and play will live or die.  OC is one of the national centers of anti-masker craziness — will we succumb to it?

Oh, and then there are worries about armed marauding residents taking “justice” into their own hands if absentee ballots slowly verge towards Biden after election day — something that we here like to describe as the “Quirk-Silva” effect, after Fullerton’s queen of the comeback win — and of course we’ll have the issue of Covid concerns at voting centers, who will staff them, who will count the ballots, etc.  (Registrar of Neal Kelley seems to have it all figured out, as we’ll report.)

That said, the voting process issues are nothing compared to what’s happening in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and in too many other places since the Voting Rights Act was gutted.  That’s why I’ve suggested that people might want to volunteer on Election Day in Arizona and Nevada to stand up to voter intimidation and chicanery.  Dangerous work — given both Covid and misguided armed “vigilantes” — but probably more consequential.

Anyway, here are highlights from the election calendar if you want to count down:

FROM SEPT. 24, 2020

Link to the ROV’s (Registrar of Voters) page for more information.

Sept. 24, 2020

  • State & County Voter Information Guides mailed out (through Oct. 13)
  • First pre-election campaign disclosure statements due (covers 7/1–9/19)

Sept 29, 2020, 6:00-7:30, PT (non-ROV)

  • First Presidential Debate in Cleveland, Ohio (Chris Wallace moderates)
    • The Trump and Biden records
    • The Supreme Court
    • Covid-19
    • The economy
    • Race and violence in cities
    • The integrity of the election

Oct. 5, 2020

  • Applications for vote-by-mail ballots available from the Registrar of Voters’ office (through Oct. 27)
  • Ballot Drop-Off locations open, i.e., voting begins

October 7, 2020, 6:00-7:30, PT (non-ROV)

  • Sole Vice-Presidential Debate in Salt Lake City, Utah (Susan Page)
    • Six topics, to be announced a week beforehand

October 15, 2020, 6:00-7:30, PT (non-ROV)

  • Second Presidential Debate in Miami, Florida (Steve Scully, town hall)
    • Six topics, to be announced a week beforehand

October 19, 2020

  • Last Day to REGISTER TO VOTE on a normal ballot in general election
  • Last day for military or overseas voters to register to vote, to request a vote-by-mail ballot, and to send application to the county elections official.

October 20, 2020

  • CONDITIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION period begins (through 11/3)
  • New Citizen Registration Period begins at ROV office (through 11/3)
  • Deadline for Write-In Candidates to file with ROV by 5:00, Code § 8601
  • Vote-by-Mail processing may begin

October 22, 2020, 6:00-7:30, PT (non-ROV)

  • Third Presidential Debate in Nashville, Tennessee (Kristen Welker)
    • Six topics, to be announced a week beforehand

October 22, 2020

  • Second pre-election campaign disclosure statements due (for 9/20–10/17)

October 23, 2020


October 30, 2020

  • ALL (11- & 5-day) VOTE CENTERS OPEN

November 3, 2020

  • ELECTION DAY!: Polls open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • A voter may deliver his/her vote-by-mail ballot in person to any Vote Center or Ballot Drop Box in the county by the close of the polls on Election Day. A voter who is unable to return the ballot, may designate another person to return the ballot.
  • Last day a military or overseas voter who is living outside of the United States (or is called for military service within the United States after Oct. 27, 2020), may return his/her ballot by facsimile transmission.
    • To be counted, the ballot returned by facsimile transmission must be received by the elections official no later than Election Day, 8:00 p.m. and must be accompanied by an identification envelope and a signed Oath of Declaration.  A mailed, voted ballot will count only if the identification envelope is signed, dated and postmarked no later than Election Day, November 3, 2020, and it is received no later than three (3) days after Election Day, November 6, 2020, 8:00 p.m.
    Beginning at 8:00 p.m. and continuously until completed, the Registrar of Voters shall conduct the semi-official canvass of votes and report totals to the Secretary of State at least every two hours.
  • Military/Overseas Voters Returning to County of Registration
    • See procedures for trading in old mail-in for new one, at above link

November 4, 2020


(More post-election info is at the link at the top of the calendar, so we’ll skip it here.)

Remember: Vote early and anyway!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)