By Nikki Garrett Metzger
(Victor Valley) – Today is the day that voters up and down the state will head to the polls and participate for the first time in the new top-two primary system to narrow down to two candidates what in some cases is a wide field.
Because of the passage of a 2010 initiative, the voting rules have changed dramatically. Except for the presidential contest, Democrats, Republicans, minor-party candidates and others are running against each other.
Instead of sending one nominee from each party to the general election, voters will send the top two finishers in each race, regardless of party, to a November runoff. In some cases, the runoff will be between two people from the same party.
In the presidential and central committee races, only voters who have chosen a political party preference may vote for their party’s candidates, with the exception of the Democrat and American Independent parties, which allow non-partisan voters.
In response to another initiative, California took the task of redrawing political boundaries after a census away from the Legislature and gave it to an independent citizens commission.
The Victor Valley is now in the new 8th congressional district and the field of candidates is wide and varied. 13 candidates, the largest field of candidates in any California House race this year, are competing for those two top spots in the November election.
Among other races on the ballot, there are seven candidates that are running to replace San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who is running for the 8th Congressional District seat, in today’s election.
The San Bernardino County registrar of voters office will release the first election-night bulletin at approximately 8:15 p.m. at www.sbcountyelections.com .