Though absentee ballots are yet to be counted, the Los Angeles City Clerk's office reports that only 16-percent of the city's voters turned out for Tuesday's primary elections.
Mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel will runoff for the city's highest executive office having each earned less than 100,000 votes.
Locally, the race for Council District 1--which includes Highland Park, Cypress Park and Mount Washington--were not much better. According to the clerk's office, only 17-percent of local voters cast ballots.
Former Assemblyman Gil Cedillo will runoff against Ed Reyes' longtime Chief of Staff, José Gardea. In a district of more than 80,000 registered voters, neither candidate earned more than 7,000 votes.
Registered voters in Council District 14, which is home to Eagle Rock and Garvanza, were even more apathetic than their CD 1 neighbors. According to the city clerk's office, only 16.04-percent of voters in the district participated in the election.
The lower turnout in CD 14 makes some sense, as there was no council district election to decide. Nevertheless, 17,500 ballots cast in a district of 109,500 is still abysmal.
In yesterday's Los Angeles Times, columnist Steve Lopez suggested a few ways to boost voter turnout, ranging from the practical (hold civic elections in November, when voters turn out in greater numbers for national issues) to humorous (allow voters to cast ballots at Starbucks).
But voting isn't that difficult, especially when the stakes are so high. Not only were municipal seats up for grabs, Tuesday's election included tax increase and pension reform measures. Two seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education--which finds itself pitted in battle between teachers union backed candidates and would-be reformers--were also up for grabs locally.
With such overwhelming apathy, we're curious to know what you think kept voters away from the polls. Was it a dearth of distinction between candidates? Did the outcomes seem like foregone conclusions? Is L.A. simply too cool to care about how represents them in office?
Patch Asks: Why didn't L.A. Vote?