It's Election Day, the last day to vote in the special election to replace former L.A. City Councilmember Nury Martinez, who resigned after being heard on secret audio recordings making racist, homophobic, and anti-indigenous remarks. City Council District 6, the district up for grabs, stretches nearly 20 miles from Sun Valley west to Lake Balboa in the San Fernando Valley.
Why are we having another election?
The April 4 election is what’s called a “special election” — it’s an election held outside the usual two-year schedule due to a unique circumstance. In this case, it’s to fill an empty City Council seat for L.A.’s Council District 6.
Last fall, an anonymous source leaked a secret recording of a private conversation capturing racist and homophobic exchanges between three city councilmembers and the president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor. One of those councilmembers was Nury Martinez, who represented District 6 and also served as city council president. Martinez resigned a few days later under intense public pressure. Since then, District 6 has had a temporary caretaker with non-voting powers.
Voters will choose a new councilmember to officially replace Martinez for the remainder of her term, which ends in 2024. Under L.A. election laws, any candidate who wins more than 50% of the vote can win this race outright, but with seven candidates on the ballot and three write-in candidates, those chances are slim. If no candidate gets a majority of the votes, there will be a runoff election in June.
Why it matters: There are only 15 seats on the council. Each member represents more than 260,000 people and wields enormous power over issues such as land development, street services, and how to deal with homelessness in their respective districts.
Who’s running: Seven people are on the ballot. There also are four write-in candidates. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two finishers will face each other in a June runoff. You can learn everything you need to know about all the candidates in our comprehensive voter guide.
How to vote: Each registered voter should have received a mail-in ballot by now. It must be postmarked by the end of Election Day April 4 and received within seven days to count. You also may vote in-person at a vote center. We’ve got everything you need to know about how to vote here.