Low Turnout for LA Race

Sixteen percent of registered voters voted in city

Few Angelenos cast their ballots Tuesday in races that included who will become LA’s next mayor and a half-cent sales tax that will hike up the city’s sales tax to 9.5 percent.

More than 1.8 million Angelenos were registered to vote in Tuesday's election. But just 192,093 at-poll ballots had been counted with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Los Angeles City Clerk. And 128,827 mail-in ballots were cast in Tuesday’s contest, also a fraction of the more than 600,000 ballots that had been mailed out to voters.

Turnout in the city was a scant 16 percent.

Overall, nearly 60 percent of those who voted visited polls, compared to 40 percent who voted by mail.

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The election had been expected to draw low voter turnout, despite several key races.

In the 2001 open Los Angeles mayoral primary, 33.5 percent of voters participated in the election.


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Turnout was nearly half as high in the 2009 mayoral primary – with 17.9 percent of registered voters in LA casting a ballot, including those who voted by mail.

In addition to the mayoral race, Tuesday's ballot included contests for council districts, city attorney and controller, and seats on the LAUSD board, a race that has drawn national attention and funding.

“It’s kind of a bummer for me,” said voter George Shamu, who was at a polling location in Hollywood. “It’s an important responsibility voting. If people don’t show up, I’m speaking for a lot more people than myself.”

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