Outside the polling place at Dorris Place Elementary (above) in Elysian Valley. Polling place inside Cypress Park firehouse (below).
In the polling station at Grace Simons Lodge, the sounds of footsteps echoed across the large room,which was silent and empty with the exception of poll workers and the occasional Council District 13 voter from Echo Park and Elysian Heights. “Slow,” is how one poll worker described the turnout late this morning. In Highland Park, only about 60 voters from Council District 1 had cast their ballots by lunch time at La Tropicana Market, where polling place signs and a poster for freshly made guacamole shared the windows. “Very slow,” said one poll worker of the voting activity. Things were not exactly bustling either at the polling place set up inside a shed at the Cypress Park fire station. Still, one poll worker expressed satisfaction that about 100 ballots had been cast so far this morning.
Those polling places will probably get busier in the late afternoon and early evening as many voters cast ballots after work ( polls close at 8 p.m). But voter turnout is expected to remain relatively low in today’s city elections, which includes the races in Council District 1 and Council District 13, despite large amounts of campaign contributions and expenditures.
Nearly $2 million has been spent by the candidates and independent groups in the Council District 13 race, where a dozen candidates are running to succeed Eric Garcetti, who is termed out of office and running for mayor. Meanwhile in Council District 1, more than $1 million has been spent in the contest to replace termed out Councilman Ed Reyes.
Did all this money spent on mailers, field workers and consultants make a difference with council district voters on election day? The answer was “no” for at least one Highland Park voter at the La Tropicana Market.
“I did not see a reason to listen to most of it,” said the man of the election advertising. “Even if it’s true, it’s usually not relevant.”