SaMo-Next-Vote-LocalWe have been talking a lot about the shakeup in Santa Monica – and Westside Los Angeles – politics happening this year.

Today’s election is the last chance you have to determine, out of the dozens of candidates running for the major local offices, who will be on your ballot in November, along with the three Santa Monica City Council offices to be decided.

If you haven’t already voted by mail, get out to the polls any time between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make sure your voice is heard. If you vote by mail but forgot to send out your ballot before the mail-in deadline, you can drop it off at any polling place tomorrow.

Finding your polling place – and a sample ballot with the races specific to you – is easy on the L.A. County Registrar’s website. Voting is also the perfect excuse to take some time off of work tomorrow because state law says you can.

Did you forget to register to vote? Unfortunately, if you haven’t registered at your current address within 15 days of the primary, you won’t be able to vote today. But, register now so that you can vote in the November election.

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While June primary is expected to be a low turn-out election, Santa Monica is in the eye of a political tempest. In the four major races that directly impact the bayside city, there are dozens of candidates who have collectively spent millions of dollars to get your attention.

And , in a low turn-out election, it’s even more important to vote, since a small number of ballots can have a much greater impact on the results.

With Congressman Henry Waxman retiring after 40 years representing Santa Monica and West L.A., 3rd District County Supervisor Zev Yarsoslavsky leaving his seat due to term limits after 20 years, and Santa Monica’s State Senator leaving his seat open to run to replace Waxman, the bayside city is experiencing a dramatic shift in political landscape.

The race to head the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, which is one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies and in charge of policing L.A. Metro’s buses and trains, is also wide open for the first time in decades after former Sheriff Lee Baca retired during a federal investigation into alleged misconduct by several deputies.

But under California law, only the top two vote-getters in each race – regardless of party affiliation – will go on the November ballot.

Here are some resources to help you sift through all the candidates and issues on the ballot tomorrow.

This is Next’s brief look at the races from a couple weeks ago. KCRW’s veteran reporter Warren Olney featured a rundown of the major local races on his show, “Which Way L.A.?” yesterday. Seepolitical.com has a fun, objective look at the two State-wide ballot measures.

The League of Women Voters provides a thorough nonpartisan voting guide for all the races at smartvoter.org. If you enter your address, you can find a comprehensive list of all the races in your district.

The L.A. County Bicycle Coalition asked the County Supervisor – Yaroslavsky’s successor will also sit on the 13-member L.A. Metro Board of Directors – and County Sherriff candidates about how they would help create a more bike-friendly region.

There are 18 hopefuls vying for Waxman’s seat as representative of Congressional District 33, the second wealthiest in the country.

With State Senator Ted Lieu running for Congress, his wide-open Senate seat drew a crowd of seven Democratic candidates and one Independent.

Yaroslavsky’s open seat on the five-member L.A. County Board of Supervisors – which commands an annual budget of about $25 billion and oversees a constituency of 10 million people – has drawn a smaller field. (Update: Originally, this article said the County contains 10 billion people. In fact, the population is about 10 million. – JI)

And there are seven candidates vying to take over the troubled L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

After 8 p.m. tonight, once polls close, the election results are available here, though, since L.A. County collects all the ballots by hand, it’s possible that the results won’t get published until quite late.