On Tuesday, November 8, the 2022 Midterm Elections will take place on the national, statewide, and local level. Voters will be asked to cast their ballot on a number of candidates, from state senators to congressional representatives, as well as a number of propositions.

In the lead up to this election, you may have questions regarding what is on the ballot, how to get a ballot, and the process for filling out and returning your ballot to ensure that it is counted properly.

What’s on the ballot? (National)

Every two years, a slate of US Senators and Representatives are up for re-election. Learn which ones are on the ballot in your state or district.

What’s on the ballot (California)

Every two years, a slate of California State Senators, State Assembly Members, and other statewide offices (i.e. Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner, Attorney General) are up for re-election. Learn which candidates are on the ballot in your state or region.

In addition, the Jewish Center for Justice has endorsed two California State and one local ballot initiative in Los Angeles.

Proposition 1 (California)

Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom. Legislative Constitutional Amendment (PDF)

  • Enshrines within the California Constitution a right to abortion.
  • Expands Reproductive Privacy Act to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual’s most intimate decisions. These include a fundamental right to abortion and a fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. 

The Talmud, a second century Rabbinic text, asserts that the fetus is not viewed as a separate being from the parent until its head has emerged. Our tradition urges us to understand a woman’s right to choose as fundamental to her independence and personhood. 

According to Jewish law, halacha, abortion is considered healthcare and is even required if the pregnancy endangers the life of the pregnant person. “Furthermore, health is interpreted by many Rabbis to encompass psychological health as well as physical health. 

JCJ has long been an advocate of codifying a pregnant person’s right to choose and this ballot proposition, if passed, will be a shining example of how our nation can and should protect its citizens. 

JCJ’s Position: Vote YES

Proposition 30 (California)

Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Air Pollution and Prevent Wildfires by Increasing Tax on Personal Income Over $2 Million. Initiative Statute (PDF)

Dubbed the Clean Cars & Clean Air Act, this proposition will:

  • Increases income tax on individuals earning over $2 million by 1.75 percent. These earners would be taxed at 15.05 percent. 
  • Revenue from the tax hike would be appropriated into the Clean Cars & Clean Air Trust Fund. 
    • These funds would fund zero-emission vehicles, charging stations, infrastructure, as well as hiring & training firefighters.

From the Garden of Eden to the laws of war and peace, the Jewish tradition calls us to act as stewards of the earth and its environment. We support efforts at every level of government to ​​combat the negative impacts of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in alternative energy sources, and protect vulnerable populations most affected by environmental injustices.

JCJ’s Position: Vote YES

To learn about all the initiatives and propositions on the California ballot, click here

What’s on the ballot? (Los Angeles)

In addition to national and statewide candidates and initiatives, here’s what JCJ is advocating for in Los Angeles County.

Measure ULA (Los Angeles)

 “Los Angeles Program to Prevent Homelessness and Fund Affordable Housing (House LA)” Initiative

Measure ULA is a citizens-led ballot measure submitted to voters of the City of Los Angeles on the November 2022 ballot.

JCJ has signed on as one of the five proponents on the measure with over 150 organizations who have endorsed the measure, including the LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Community Coalition, Move LA, ACLU Southern California, ACT-LA, Public Counsel, the Interfaith Solidarity Network, and many more. 

Measure ULA, written by homelessness and housing experts—not politicians—will invest in the most comprehensive set of solutions in our city’s history. This measure:

  • Provides support to people experiencing homelessness, and those at risk of homelessness, with rental assistance, income assistance for low income seniors, and access to permanent housing.
  • Includes the strongest citizens’ oversight and accountability protections in the history of the City of Los Angeles, including a dedicated Inspector General with independent funding.
  • Creates more than 26,000 homes for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, helping about 69,000 people over the next decade.
  • Creates 44,000 construction jobs over the next decade with strong labor provisions that will ensure a skilled workforce and address wage inequities that fuel the very crisis we seek to solve.
  • Helps more than 475,000 at-risk renters maintain their stability and keep their home each year.

For there will never cease to be needy ones from the midst of the land, which is why I command you: open your hand to your fellows, your poor and your needy in your land. — Deuteronomy 15:11

You are commanded to provide the needy with whatever they lack. If they lack clothing, you must clothe them. If they lack household goods, you must provide them… — Rambam Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts for the Poor 7:3

JCJ’s Vote: Yes on Measure ULA

To learn about the candidates running for office in Los Angeles, click here. While JCJ does not endorse candidates, we encourage all supporters to review the voting records and past statements of anyone running for local office.

How do I vote?

Every registered voter in California will receive a vote-by-mail ballot about one month before the election. If you are not registered to vote, click here to register, to check your registration status, and for information about registration deadlines. You can register to vote in person on Election Day at your polling location, click here for more details: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/same-day-reg 

If you are registered, but have not received your vote-by-mail ballot, go here to track it.

All registered California voters can also vote in person on or before Election Day. Find your polling place here.

How do I submit my vote-by-mail ballot?

Once you’ve marked your ballot, seal it inside the envelope provided. Don’t forget to sign and date the envelope! No stamps are necessary to mail a ballot. Make sure the mail ballot is postmarked by Tuesday, November 8 or earlier.

If you wish to drop off your ballot, you can do so at any voting location in your county. Some counties also offer secure drop off locations. Go here for details and locations.

Key Election Dates

October 10 – November 7: Early voting sites are open
October 24: Last day to register to vote for the general election
October 25 – November 8: Same Day Voter Registration to cast a provisional Ballot
October 29: Counties that are part of the Voter’s Choice Act will open Voting Centers
November 8: Election Day Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
November 15: Vote by mail ballot delivery deadline (Postmarked on or before election day)

Election Day Voting Resources

What to do if your name is not on the voter roster?

  • Ask a poll worker for a Provisional Ballot
    • You have the right to cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted after elections officials have confirmed you are a registered voter. 
  • Ask a poll worker to give you information on how to check if your provisional ballot was counted. 
  • Know Your Rights Resources from the ACLU

What JCJ believes

Voting is the most basic right in any democracy. 

American Jews have long stood with disenfranchised communities in support of voting rights. We support efforts at every level of government to fight voter suppression and ensure access to the ballot box for every American. This includes increasing voter registration, educating voters about key political issues, assisting those who need help in getting to the polls, and fighting state legislative efforts to make it harder for people to vote.

Why volunteer at the polls? 

Too many systemic barriers stand between Americans and the ballot box.

Until almost a half century ago, people of color were subjected to rules like poll taxes and literacy tests when trying to cast their ballots. These laws existed for no other reason than to make it harder for them to vote. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act to strengthen American democracy and deliver true voting rights to all Americans.

But while our nation has seen progress, today history is repeating itself. Legislatures across America are advancing hundreds of bills to wind back the clock on voting rights. In the courts, there have been efforts to sweep away the protections enshrined in the Voting Rights Act. Under the guise of “preventing fraud,” new attacks on voting rights — from voter ID laws and purges of voter rolls to restrictions on early voting and physically limiting access to the polls — are creating a new regime of suppression built on the foundations of Jim Crow.

Volunteer opportunities to protect the vote:

Jewish sources on voting

For any community matter on which they cannot find common ground, they should convene all taxpayers, and they should agree that each will voice his or her view for the selfless benefit of the community, and they will follow the majority. — Shulchan Arukh, Choshen Mishpat 163:1

If, in your opinion, the majority are about to commit an error in judgment, do not remain silent because they are the majority, but state your view. This applies even if you know beforehand that they will not accept your viewpoint but that of the majority. — The Rashbam commentary on Exodus 23:2 V 1

Rabbi Yitzhak taught, “A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted.” — Talmud, B’rachot 55a