Politics

Everything LA voters need to know about today's special election

File: Then-Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) listens during a news conference to discuss the rhetoric of presidential candidate Donald Trump, at the U.S. Capitol, May 11, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Becerra is now California's attorney general.
File: Then-Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) listens during a news conference to discuss the rhetoric of presidential candidate Donald Trump, at the U.S. Capitol, May 11, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Becerra is now California's attorney general.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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Los Angeles-area voters head to the polls today to decide the future of the Congressional race to represent California's 34th district, a seat formerly held by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

About 306,000 registered voters live in the district, which includes communities like Highland Park, Westlake, Koreatown and downtown L.A.

Voters will choose between 23 candidates on the ballot. For more information on the field of candidates, which are mostly Democrats, check out KPCC's candidate survey

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. To find your polling location or look at your sample ballot (which should have arrived already by mail), you can go online to the County's website. If you're voting by mail, make sure your ballot is postmarked by today so that it will be counted. 

Voting is expected to be light in this special election compared to voter turnout last November. Just one item – the contest for the new U.S. House member — will be on the ballot. 

The crowded race has gained national headlines. Open Congressional seats are rare in California and the field of contenders has presented interesting dynamics. Of the candidates, 12 are women.

The district chose Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton during California's presidential primary last June. Now, a small handful of candidates in the race have aligned themselves with Sanders. 

In addition, candidate Robert Ahn, who is leading in fundraising, may have an edge among Korean Americans. His family immigrated to Los Angeles from South Korea before he was born. The bipartisan data vendor Political Data found that Korean Americans appear to be outpacing other voters in early vote by mail returns at a rate of three to one.

All of these candidates are competing against State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who many Democrats view as the frontrunner. Gomez has amassed a large list of endorsements. Becerra is among his backers, as is California's U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.