ADEM 2: A Guide to Voting by Mail … IF you registered when we told you!

You may look like this at first, but more or less ugly.

Hello again hopeful Democrat ADEM 2023 voters! If you registered to vote by mail by the Dec. 31 deadline (like we urged you to) you should have gotten a puzzling little ballot in the mail this week as I did. (If you’re planning to vote IN PERSON you’ll have to do it on the 21st or 22nd, but we’ll get to THAT at the BOTTOM of this story.)

If you’re like me, you will be FLUMMOXED by the ballot you receive (see picture above.) It is nice and small, and contains nothing but NUMBERS, and a Q-R code. What is a Q-R code? Apparently it’s something the kids these days use, kids who live on their smart phones – they drag the code on their phones or “swipe” it, and it takes em to some website or does some other shit. But DON’T WORRY, there is nothing unique or magical about YOUR Q-R code – it just takes you to the URL

So, you don’t need any stinking Q-R code, you can just click here:


Or, don’t even bother with that. All you REALLY need to do to vote now is three things:

  1. Find YOUR UNIQUE PIN (Participant ID number) and enter it on your ballot;
  2. Turn the ballot over and check off up to 14 people you want to vote for, by their numbers which we’ll explain below;
  3. Slam that sucker into the envelope provided and mail it TODAY. (They need to GET it by Jan. 31 so mail it NOW before it gets lost in your stack o’ bills.) OH YA YOU GOTTA PUT A STAMP ON IT TOO! Let me know if you don’t have one.

A STAMP: Your final obstacle to voting.
Give me a call if you need one.


1. Your PIN

If you didn’t save your PIN from when you registered, it’s pretty easy to find – Click HERE,, and give ’em your e-mail address. And they’ll e-mail it to you lickety-split. Then, on the front of your ballot, fill in that 10-digit pin, numerically and then via dots, as so. Here’s mine a little redacted:

A word to the wise:

Fun facts about your PIN: It’s 10 digits – the first two are your assembly district; the third one is either 0 if you’re also a candidate (apparently CADEM’s computers still think I’m a candidate), 1 if you’re set to vote by mail, or 2 if you’re registered to vote in person, in which case you probably don’t and shouldn’t have a ballot yet. (The final seven digits are unique and show what kind of person you are – if they start with a few zeros it basically means you’re a good person no matter what everybody else says.)

Page 2: Choosing Your Candidates!

Each assembly district has a numbered list of candidates, and I’ll link to em all right here. Then of course you fill in the circles next to each of those numbers that correspond to the candidates you like. You can vote for as many as 14 BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO! If there are less than 14 that you know and trust, JUST VOTE FOR THEM. And if you STILL don’t know what your assembly district is, just look at the first two digits of your PIN, silly!

  • AD 59 candidates (Brea, Yorba Linda, Placentia, some Fullerton, An. Hills, some Orange, Villa Park, North Tustin)
  • AD 64 candidates (La Habra and parts of LA County)
  • AD 67 candidates (west Anaheim, most Fullerton, Buena Park, La Palma, Cypress)
  • AD 68 candidates (Santa Ana, central Anaheim, some Orange & Garden Grove)
  • AD 70 candidates (Westminster, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Midway City, most Garden Grove)
  • AD 71 candidates (Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, unincorporated OC, parts of Riverside County)
  • AD 72 candidates (Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport, Lagunas, Lake Forest)
  • AD 73 candidates (Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin)
  • AD 74 candidates (Laguna Niguel, SJC, Dana Point, San Clemente, parts of SD County)

So, Who Should You Vote For?

So glad you asked! Of course, this is just us, and YOU DO YOU. But we HAVE put a lotta thought into it. (I should also mention that many of the candidates have provided candidate statements which you can get to through the candidate links I shared) …

I’m-a start with my own district, Central County District 68, because it seems most important and dramatic, with two VERY contrasting slates competing with each other. There’s the establishment, corporatist, labor union slate, backed by Lou Correa and the Party establishment, calling themselves ironically the “Progressive-Labor Alliance.” And then there’s the actual grassroots progressive folks who are calling themselves “People Over Profits Progressive Slate.” I’m supporting the latter.

(add VALERIA RENDON to the above.)

And to save you some work, if I have you convinced, the numbers on your ballot corresponding to those candidates are 1, 2, 3, 10, 13, 15, 16, 19, 21 & 22! Mira nomas, homies…

Let’s get the other two Anaheim districts out of the way next:

In this West Anaheim / Buena Park / Fullerton district, the Quirk-Silvas have created a “Unity Slate” – out of people they know, mainly in Fullerton. Most of them are probably okay, and I’m sure they’ll do fine in the election. Problem is, the Quirk-Silvas left out a few REALLY GOOD people that they happened not to know, so this blog is urging AD 67 voters to “BULLET-VOTE” for Fred Sigala, Tahir Farukhi and Jamey Flynn, and help them elbow their way past a couple of insiders! Thanks.

That’s, as mentioned above, #2, 7, and 25!

Our good Anaheim Hills friend Ery De Jong was ALL OVER putting together a slate up in this northeastern district, it includes our friends Lourdes Cruz, the ineffable Hari Lal and his ineffable daughter Mili, so we’re going with Ery’s judgment, but still by all means … go ahead and see who else is running, and read their statements!

Okay, the other districts in order:

We only include this mostly-LA-county district because it includes our dear “La Harbra.” There are 22 candidates here and we don’t know any of them, but if you live in La Habra and are so inclined, you could read their candidate statements or maybe you know some of em…

The Little Saigon district. I see a couple names of good people I know – David Johnson, Megan Irvine – but… the thing is, there are exactly 14 candidates, evenly split between male and female, so no matter what you do, those are the exact 14 that will win. So… I’m having trouble figuring out how to inspire you to vote in this one…

Just so, this “East County” district – there are exactly 14 candidates here too, except in this case there are 6 men and 8 woman, so ONE WOMAN’S GONNA LOSE! And wouldn’t you like to be part of deciding who THAT unfortunate woman is?

Nah, like I wrote earlier, “here’s a district where the Party is in its infancy, and AD 71 Democrats SHOULD participate in such events together, get to know one another, start growing the Party, and maybe not be stuck with Congresswoman Young Kim forever!

On the other hand, there are 24 people running in this Huntington/Newport-centered district – how did these particular 14 get to be on the Porter-Min-blessed “Blue Crew?”

Some of these I know are great – like Bethany, Natalie, and Laura Oatman, but look at some of the ten people that got left off

  • Fiery progressive fighter Gina Clayton-Tarvin.
  • Fine HB Councilwoman Rhonda Bolton.
  • Our favorite County Assessor candidate Rick Foster.
  • Hardin campaign manager Avery Counts.

I wonder what led to these and others being left off the island. In any case I’d put some thought into who I was gonna vote for here, before just checking off the Porter-Min-blest Blue Crew.

And this Irvine-centered district has 27 people running. And a lot of them are really good. And 14 of them got together and made a slate. And then eight of em who were left out made their own damn slate. And then Katie Porter and Dave Min strolled by like they were plucking fruit and picked their favorite 14 out of those (and surely now expect loyalty in the Porter Senate race and the Min vs Newman race.) And then my colleague Greg Diamond, who knows most of these folks, looked at the Porter-Min list and changed it a bit, adding in the inexplicably omitted Kev. So this blog is suggesting:

  • Mohr, Johnson-Norris, Treseder, Wright (that’s 4 women we know, leaving 3 of your choice);
  • Abazajian, Crane, Dack, Elliott, Gomez, Stephens, Varasteh.
  • (Greg apologetically ran out of room for Gamboa.)

(By the way our very enthusiastic and not-rich friend Luis Huang could have at least provided a candidate statement.)

(GD, 1/19): Note that a reader below suggests Hannah Jodat, Patti Oh, and Iris Wu as the other three. Jodat is a good choice, whom I left off because she didn’t file a candidate statement; the other two seem like decent choices, unless you want to bullet vote for the four (or five) we’ve mentioned. Yes, this list does become more Katie/Min-heavy, though….)

Finally South County, with 23 candidates and I only know two of ’em I can vouch for: Great Dana Point Equalizer candidate Dave Dodson, and new San Clemente Councilman Mark Enmeier! I am waiting to hear from either of them who else is good…

Dodson, Enmeier


Voting in Person, Jan. 21-22

I’ll write about this some time next week, but any registered OC Democrat (who hasn’t already registered to vote by mail) can show up, register and vote, weekend after next, at any of these times/places:

  • Sat. Jan 21, 10-2 in Newport Beach
  • Sat. 21, 10-2 in Orange
  • Sat. 21, 11-3 in Buena Park
  • Sat. 21, noon to 4 in Santa Ana
  • Sat. 21, noon to 4 in Westminster
  • and for you REAL fashionably late folks, SUNDAY Jan. 22, 10 to 2 in beautiful San Juan Capistrano!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.