Tracks in the Napa wine country at St. Helena. Photo: Hank Shiffman.
Thanks to newly redrawn district boundaries, Napa County has a chance to put its first lawmaker in the state capitol in more than a generation. The race to replace termed-out 4th District Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, promises to be hotly contested, featuring family connections, Democrats going head-to-head and a scramble for campaign funds.
U.S. Senate election, 2012
In little more than a decade, mail-in or “absentee” voting for statewide elections quadrupled, from 4.4 percent in 1978 to 18.4 percent in 1990, reflecting in part legal changes making it easier to vote absentee. Since the 1990s, mail-in ballots have increased exponentially. In the 2008 primary, 58 percent of the voters cast mail-in ballots, the first time in a California statewide election that mail-in ballots represented more than half the vote. In primaries since then, mail-in voting has risen steadily to a remarkable 65 percent in 2012. In the November 2012 general election, mail-in ballots accounted for about 51 percent. (Above: 2012 U.S. Senate election map/Kurykh, Wikimedia))