At Large Vs. District Elections
The November 8, 2022 Election, will be the City’s first district election.
Before 2022, all registered voters in the City voted for all five members of the City Council. Beginning in 2022, each registered voter will only vote for one council seat; the council seat in their district. The City moved from at-large elections (where everyone votes for all seats) to district elections in 2021. Learn more about this process here.
Want to know what City Council District you live in? Go here.
District elections are also used for the following offices:
Every ten years, after the Census, district lines are re-drawn to account for changes in population. The 2022 Election Cycle (primary and general) will be the first elections using the 2020 Census data.
Several cities, school districts, and special districts in the County still use at-large elections. Other places, this type of election is seen is:State offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State School Superintendent, State Attorney General, etc.
Larger cities will have district elected Councilmembers with an at-large Mayor (Ex: San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles)
What is it?
To run a political campaign for a candidate or a ballot measure (including propositions and initiatives), campaigns typically require funding from outside sources for everything from:
Phone Banking - calling prospective voters to talk to them about your cause
Posters, yard signs, tv spots, social media ads
Events/meet and greets
There are two direct types of campaign contributions
In Kind Contributions: Cash-equivalent donation of someone helping a candidate (volunteering their professional skills such as a web-designer or donating lawn signs and stickers)
Candidates can also benefit from Independent Expenditures.
This is where an independent political action committee spends money to advocate for a candidate, measure, or political party without their coordination or authorization.
Why should I care?
Reviewing a candidate/measure/committee’s campaign funding can help you determine how to vote on a race or a ballot question:
Do you support and agree with the people that have donated to a candidate/measure/committee?
Does an organization/individual’s donations to a campaign mean they have more influence on the candidate or that the candidate agrees with them?
Are the organizations/individuals donating for or against a measure, organizations/individuals that you agree with?
Is the candidate/measure/committee receiving local donations? Mostly donations from outside the voting area? Widespread donations?
Where do I find out more about campaign finances?The City Clerk's office will hold the campaign finances for city wide elections.
The County Elections Office will hold the campaign finances for county wide elections.
The California Secretary of State will campaign finances on state wide elections.
The FEC will hold finances of federal elections.
Scroll down to see links that let you research any campaign's finances.
CityThe City of Burlingame has a local ordinance (City law) that covers how much money candidates for City Council can receive from individuals and organizations
For the November 8, 2022 Election, candidates can accept up to $350 from each individual and organization.
Want to learn more about the City’s local ordinance? Click here.
Do all cities have their own campaign ordinance? No. In the State of California, if a City doesn’t have its own campaign ordinance, candidates are governed by State rules for Senate and Assembly seats (see below for more information).
During an election year, candidates have to regularly submit campaign reports to the City Clerk in order to give the public access to their finances and to ensure that they are following local rules. The reporting schedule for the November 8, 2022 election.
All the candidates' campaign finances are published on the City’s website three days after the due date here.
For the 2022 Election Cycle (Primary and General)...
State Senate and State Assembly candidates can receive up to $4,900 from a person/business and $9,700 from a small contributor committee. There is no campaign finance limit for political parties donating to a candidate.
A candidate for state offices, such as secretary of state, can receive up to $8,100 from a person/business and $9,700 from a small contributor committee.
A candidate for Governor can receive up to $32,400 from a person and organization. Similarly, there is no limit for party donations.
Click here to find the campaign finance report of your representatives.
U.S. Senate, U.S. Representatives, and Presidential campaigns are regulated by the Federal Election Commission.
To review what campaigns an individual or a company has funded click here.
Want to find out who is funding federal candidates? Click here.