Here's your daily audio briefing (updated weekdays):
Voting Ends, Counting Begins: What We Know So Far About State And Local Election Results
NOTE: A NEWER VERSION OF THIS STORY IS AVAILABLE HERE »
Voting is now done in California.
County election officials are posting returns, giving an early glimpse at the fate of the Los Angeles District Attorney race, closely-watched LAUSD and city council contests, and several of the most expensive ballot measures in California history.
The results could change dramatically in the coming days -- the process of counting the vote will take time. By law, county election officials have 31 days to report results. Some races will be called this evening, but the final outcome of many, including the presidential contest, may not be clear tonight. Or tomorrow.
As vote centers closed this evening, L.A. County ballots were transported to be counted at the Fairplex in Pomona, some by boat and helicopter.
More than 3.4 million ballots have been cast in L.A. County, which means the county notched 60% turnout. The figure will rise as more ballots arrive through the mail. The final tally is also likely to exceed the 3.5 million votes cast in 2016.
"I think the words of the day should be strong and steady. That's really what we've experienced," L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan said at an afternoon press conference.
In Orange County, more than 1.2 million ballots have been cast. In Riverside County, the figure climbed above 640,000 prior to 8 p.m.
Election experts were stunned by the levels of early voting in California and across the country, and hopes are high that 2020 will be a high turnout election. However, the precise voter turnout in California may not be known until after Thanksgiving. Vote-by-mail ballots will be accepted by county registrars until 17 days after the election, as long as they are postmarked by November 3.
That means that the last votes may not arrive until November 20. Late-arriving votes will boost turnout numbers, so be wary of the initial figures on election night and later this week.
Ballots counted in the coming days could also flip several races -- late-arriving votes can break decisively, making an election evening lead disappear.
RESULTS WE ARE FOLLOWING CLOSELY
- LA County District Attorney Results: Gascón v. Lacey
- Measure J: To Reallocate More Than $300 Million From The County General Fund To Alternatives To Incarceration
- LA County Board Of Supervisors District 2:Mitchell v. Wesson
- LA City Council District 10: Mark Ridley-Thomas v. Grace Yoo
- LAUSD District 7: Patricia Castellanos v. Tanya Ortiz Franklin
- LAUSD District 3: Marilyn Koziatek v. Scott Schmerelson
- Prop 15: The Property Tax 'Split Roll' Initiative
- Prop 16: To Bring Back Affirmative Action
- Prop 20: To Toughen Some Criminal Penalties
- Prop 22: To Make App-Based Drivers Contractors
- Prop 25: To Alter Cash Bail
- Congressional District 25: Mike Garcia v. Christy Smith
- Congressional District 39: Gil Cisneros v. Young Kim
- Congressional District 48: Harley Rouda v. Michelle Steel
The Essential Syllabus Of Election Distractions
Our "Mental Health Distraction Worksheet" is list of digital warm hugs and emergency respites meant to recharge your psyche between now and whenever *this* ends.
You want rabbit holes? We got rabbit holes. French disco, color palettes, hand dancing, slow motion animals. What do you need?
HERE'S THE FULL LIST OF DISTRACTIONS:
Orange County Is Already Seeing Historic Voter Turnout For Election 2020
Additional reporting by Jill Replogle and Susanne Whatley.
It's the last day to cast your ballot for the great election of 2020. Even as polls opened this morning, Southern California was already seeing massive voter turnout.
"It's historic," said Neal Kelley, the Registrar of Voters for Orange County. "We have just passed the total turnout for the 2008 presidential general election. But if you look at 2016, we have hit the total number of ballots cast in that election as well. And then just recently, in 2012, we hit that number last night also. So far, [we are seeing] historic numbers going back to '08."
Analysts have predicted massive voter turnout this year. So far, they've been right.
Orange County is the fifth largest voting jurisdiction in the United States, and other counties seem likely to see the same high turnout numbers.
"I think we're ready for that," Kelley said.
As of Tuesday evening, turnout in the county was hovering at about 75%, Kelley said, adding "of course that's going to continue to grow as we continue to process ballots post election."
Given the pandemic, safety and convenience are key to a smooth election process. One way O.C. election officials are proving that is through a drive-thru voting site at the Honda Center. Kelley said more than 1,000 voters had taken advantage of that service today.
"I just came from there a few minutes ago, and it's busy tonight," he said. "It's a great option for voters."
UNOFFICIAL VOTE CENTER IN WESTMINSTER UNDER INVESTIGATION
In an interview with KPCC's Nick Roman this evening, Kelley confirmed that his office, along with the Orange County District Attorney's Office, was investigating an unsactioned site reportedly collecting ballots in the city of Westminster. Kelley did not provide much detail this early into the probe, but had this to say:
"... reports came in that it appeared to be a voting assistance center or a vote center, but not something that was run by my office for the county. And that was the concern among the community. And certainly that's why we jumped on it."
Kimberly Edds, a spokesperson for the O.C. District Attorney’s office, said they had immediately dispatched an investigator earlier in the day when they got complaints about the site, including that they were throwing away ballots.
The investigation is ongoing, but Edds said their initial determination regarding ballots being thrown away is that they were just discarding the outside envelope in which the ballot gets sent in the mail.
She said they’re still investigating, but also noted it’s pretty common for people who are not English speakers and the elderly to seek help filling out their ballots, and that that is within the law.
At this point, “there is no indication that ballots were discarded or destroyed," Edds said.
She also said people with any concerns about their ballots or votes should call their election hotline: 714-501-4593.
At our Voter Game Plan you can find:
- Key dates and deadlines related to the election.
- Key races we're following in Orange and L.A. counties.
- A guide to ballot propositions and special measures.
- FAQs about the election and voting-by-mail.
- News stories about the election.
- Your customized ballot.
ADDED SENSE OF SECURITY
Anh Luu, from Stanton, and her sister Trinh Luu, from Tustin, were the third and fourth people in line at the Orange County Registrar's office this morning. They're early birds who arrived at 6:30 a.m. and said they had a smooth voting experience.
The Luu sisters wanted to vote in person because they think it's more secure than voting by mail. Anh mentioned she had heard stories on the news about ballots being tossed out.
"How can we trust the system? How can we trust even the postman anymore? So vote in person is the more secure way to do it and makes your vote count," Anh said.
IRONING OUT THE KINKS
Speaking to Susanne Whatley, who hosts our newsroom's Morning Edition show on the radio at 89.3 KPCC, Kelley said only seven of Orange County's 160 locations had a 20-minute or more wait this Tuesday morning.
"The good thing about we have full voting operating for four days before election day and that gives us a chance to iron out some of those kinks early on. So I think we're going to have a good day today," Kelley said.
Despite a few minor snafus — one Orange County voting site experienced some scanning issues this morning, according to Kelley — he said, "Now that the morning is behind us, we're in a good spot."
Kelley says that at 8:05 p.m. tonight, he'll announce the tally for all of the ballots received in his office through midnight last night.
Listen to the interview:
SCENES FROM OC REGISTRAR THIS MORNING
What Voters Are Seeing — And Feeling — On Election Day
Based on reporting by Mariana Dale, Frank Stoltze, Carla Javier, Sharon McNary and Jill Replogle.
Whatever their beliefs or political affiliations, voters across Southern California are turning out at the polls to cast their votes in the big 2020 election.
At the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office in Norwalk, Dewayne Brandon, 26, who had come from Watts with his wife and two children, said it was his first time voting.
"I came to Norwalk to get something else but I'm like, 'You know what? I might as well just vote right now because my vote counts,'" Brandon said.
He said the process was simple and he felt comfortable with the extra safety precautions that had been put in place due to the coronavirus.
Carlos Albizures, who is originally from Guatemala and now lives in Norwalk, also found the process easy. In fact, he knocked a few items off his to-do list. He got a COVID-19 test, went to the library and then voted. Albizures moved to California from New York only a few months ago and felt it was important to cast his vote so he decided to do it in person at the Registrar's Office in Norwalk.
"We make the difference. People have to understand that every single vote counts and if we want authorities to lead us to a better life, that's the way to do it," Albizures said.
Albizures said he felt safe and election workers did a good job of maintaining safety standards.
If you want to vote but haven't registered yet, YOU CAN STILL VOTE! That's what Maryam Danishwar did.
She lives in the San Fernando Valley but came down to Norwalk so she could register for in-person voting on Election Day. She was concerned about potential issues with mail-in voting and she was recently naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Danishwar was born in Afghanistan and came to the United States when she was 9.
She was pleasantly surprised by how swift and efficient the process was.
"It was very simple, very easy," Danishwar said. "They were directing you where to go. Very socially distant, very safe. You go upstairs. It was a very quick process. It took me about 10, 15 minutes to register and get my vote in. If anyone hasn't voted, you should go vote. It's easier than going to the bathroom."
Lyle Nixon, who was taking one of his regular walks around the Forum in Inglewood, said he voted four days ago at a church near his house. He said he normally focuses on local issues but this time, it was all about the national — specifically, Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The 200,000 plus deaths, that should have never happened," Nixon said "[Trump] needs to go. He had a chance. He had four years to learn. He should have been trying to learn. He's not trying to learn."
Nixon said he has two neighbors and several relatives who have died from COVID-19.
At the Forum, metal fabricator Parker Legaspi said he also came for one reason: "I just didn't want Trump in office anymore."
He had filled out his ballot at home and came to drop off his ballot. "To me, I feel like … [we're] almost on the brink of civil war. Two parties and their supporters are each almost getting violent to each other over their political views. It's almost like the Civil War era."
In Orange County, sisters Anh and Trinh Luu, who live in Stanton and Tustin, respectively showed up early at the Orange County Registrar's Office this morning to cast their votes for Donald Trump.
"Four more years for Trump! We love Trump. He's the greatest president ever in American history, Anh said.
Candice (she didn't want to give her last name), said she came to vote in person because she was worried about her mail-in ballot making it safely to the Registrar’s office and wanted to make sure her vote would be counted.
"This is the most important vote of our lifetime, probably, so I wanted to make sure I got in and was able to do it," she said.
Anissa Suncin, 26, who lives in Lynwood, said she votes in every election and has been doing mail-in voting since long before the pandemic. She came today with Carmen Murillo to drop off their mail-in ballots.
They had initially gone somewhere else, "but there was nobody there looking at the box or anything," Murillo said, so they decided the Registrar's Office in Norwalk wold be safer.
"It's really easy," Suncin said. "I know a lot of people don't like voting because they think it's more difficult, but doing the mail-in ballot is really easy. Even coming in to vote at the poll is easy, especially now that it's digital. I just want [people] to know that it's easy and it doesn't take a lot of your time."
UCLA law student Cece Bobbitt said she cast her ballot a day after she received it in the mail. She said the university had given all law students the day off to encourage them to volunteer for the election, so she signed up to be a poll monitor.
Bobbitt had already visited two polling places in Castaic before LAist/KPCC caught up with her at a voting location in Santa Clarita. She said she was there to make sure the rules are followed and no one who wants to vote is turned away.
She was most interested in Prop 22 and the District Attorney's race. "I think it was important as a law student who will be hopefully working in those courts in a few years to be abel to exercise my voice and pick a district attorney that I think is better," Bobbitt said.
She's also watching the presidential race closely.
"Although California votes don't matter, I think that every popular vote that Joe Biden gets is going to help him in he aftermath of this election because we're not quite sure what Trump is going to do, if he's going to concede if Joe Biden wins," Bobbitt said.
In Beverly Hills, Cheyenne Yousefia, also a law student, came to drop off her ballot. She said it had taken her only 20 minutes to fill out but she had spent several days researching various issues and talking to friends.
"I believe that they're more pivotal and more critical for local voters to partake and to engage in the local elections because they do determine more what we will experience," Yousefia said.
Also in Beverly Hills, Ariel Rofeim, who was once an intern in the Obama White House and attends Brooklyn Law School in New York, said he's been a lifelong Democrat but has some serious reservations about the party's policies. Rofeim said he is concerned about the state of our domestic and international policy.
"Seeing how the Democrats have sort of chosen to go about by showing the injustices that do happen in this country is something that I have really strongly felt against," Rofeim says. "Seeing all these businesses board up, seeing all the things that are going on, for me, I don't feel like that's the most effective way to show that point."
Regardless of political outlook, as Anissa Suncin said, "I want my voice to be heard. Even though some people don't feel like it's heard, it is and it counts. It's our civic duty, we have our right to vote and I think it's important to vote."
L.A. County was looking to recruit nearly 17,000 poll workers to help the election run smoothly. The vote center at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita was staffed, in part, by high school students.
Samea Derrick, 17, said she’s been following the news lately, especially as it pertains to climate change and LGBTQ issues.
“I've found that it pertains to me. So I really care what happens in this election. And I knew that because of COVID, a lot of election workers are usually seniors and a lot of seniors want to stay home right now, which is perfectly understandable. So I thought there would be a shortage. That's why I wanted to volunteer.”
Derrick says the day was mostly uneventful, though she did have to ask a few people not to wear apparel with the name of specific candidates on it into the voting center. When not working the polls, Derrick is a senior at Academy of the Canyons and will graduate in the spring.
Bryant Bolen, 27, went to the Ramon Garcia Recreation Center in Boyle Heights right after work to vote for the first time. He said “togetherness” was one of the driving forces behind his vote.
“Our country is kind of dividing each other slowly but surely,” he said. “I feel like we’re all divided, especially the parties … this is a country that’s supposed to be together, and we need to go ahead and get to that and stick to that.”
It was also the first time voting for 19-year-old Klein Sanchez, who said “we all need a vote if we all want change.”
“We need to get up and do something, make a difference if we can," he said.
Want more info on voting? Head to our Voter Game Plan:
SoCal Voters Report A ‘Streamlined And Easy’ Election Day Experience
Based on reporting by Carla Javier, Frank Stoltze, Aaron Schrank, Mike Roe and Sharon McNary.
Slow and steady. Efficient. Enjoyable.
That’s been the voter feeling thus far from Norwalk to Santa Clarita to Glendale to the Westside as people across Southern California are hitting the polls to cast their vote in the 2020 election.
Voters at the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office in Norwalk expressed some surprise and relief that the process went smoother, quicker and safer than expected.
That feeling was also expressed in Santa Clarita at College of the Canyons, where one of the few instances of tension came from a firefighter from Saugus who had concerns about handing his ballot from his car window.
“I hope that the person who took it, regardless of their opinions or beliefs recognize that my vote counts too — even though I may differ from them,” said Jason Bunn.
Otherwise, many voters are expressing a lot of confidence in the process.
“I thought it was really efficient,” Iqra Yousef told LAist. “Not too many lines, at least when I went. I thought the actual process itself was really streamlined and easy this year. I really enjoyed it.”
Impressions Banquet Hall in downtown Glendale used to be a place for weddings and parties. It was closed due to the pandemic, but now it houses a different kind of gathering for the election.
“When this opportunity came up and L.A. County contacted me, I decided to volunteer and make this place a voting center,” said owner Khachik Timourian. “A lot people walk in, pleasantly cast their vote … leave me rave reviews, and I’m really, really honored to work with L.A. County and do this kind of stuff.”
This election was also the first time Diana Potikyan took part in the voting process.
“It was extremely important for me to vote this year, moreso than I’ve ever felt inclined to,” she said. “I want to make a difference. And it was the easiest, quickest process.”
Norma Franco was here with her sons Martin and Daniel. She’s a dialysis patient who uses a wheelchair.
“It was very easy, very simple. I did have a drop-box/mail-in ballot, but we just got it yesterday, which was a little bit frustrating,” she said. “Filled it out, brought it in, signed right here in front of them, sealed it, dropped it in, and I did my duty as an American.”
Police were gearing up for possible unrest in Beverly Hills, as Santa Paula police geared up to support the Beverly Hills police. In Santa Monica, there was little to no chaos in voters' experiences there, unless one wants to count the attention that the selfie station atttracted.
Julie Fallon, one of the Santa Monica voters, said “this is one of the most important elections we’ve had in a long, long time with the direction of the country and the direction it will go. I’m most concerned about public safely and homelessness in Santa Monica."
Law student Cheyenne Yousefia voted today in Beverly Hills. She said it's not just the presidential race, but also the local races and statewide ballot propositions that matter to her.
"They do determine more what we will experience, or the different changes, for example, like the Uber one or the Lyft provision, things like that will affect you know, inherently how directly we will live our lives,” she said.
Engineer Ramin Heydarpour said he wants justice reform and education aid out of this election. He voted at Beverly Hills City Hall and said he liked the ballot-marking devices.
"Easy. And all the writing is right there," he said. "No mechanical things. It's easy to see. No need for glasses."
All that praise is a far cry from the primary election back in March, which was marred by technical problems and long lines.
Want more info on voting? Head to our Voter Game Plan:
Election Day Begins: See What's Happening Across LA And Orange Counties
Millions of voters have already cast their ballots in L.A. and Orange Counties, but for millions more, voting in-person on Election Day has special significance. Here's what's happening at voting centers across the region.
Inglewood, the Forum Voting Center
Ernestine Lindsay, poll worker for the last 16 years, brings her own stuffed bear to the vote center at the Forum in Inglewood.
Busy poll workers move voters through the vote center at the Forum in Inglewood.
Lyle Nixon stands outside the Forum voting center in Inglewood. He voted days ago at another location and was out walking around the Forum on Election Day.
Norwalk, Los Angeles Registrar
Signs with instructions at the Los Angeles Registrar's office in Norwalk.
Maryam Danishwar, 39, votes in her first election at the L.A. Registrar in Norwalk. Born in Afghanistan, she became a naturalized citizen earlier this year.
Voters mill about at the Los Angeles Registrar's office in Norwalk, waiting to cast their ballots.
Orange County Registrar
Drive-through ballot drop-off boxes and COVID-19 safety signs outside the Orange Country Registrar.
Trinh Luu (left) from Tustin and her sister, Anh Luu (right) from Stanton, arrived at the Orange County Registrar’s office this morning at 6:30 a.m. They came to vote in person because they don’t trust voting by mail. They were the 3rd and 4th people in line.
Darice Goodwin from Santa Ana casts her ballot at the Orange County Registrar on Nov. 3, 2020. “There’s something special about voting on Election Day," she said. She appreciates all the different options for voters this year but she still felt worried about what could happen to her ballot. Goodwin wanted to make sure her vote was counted and felt more confident coming to the polls.
Ofelia Gonzales at the Orange County Registrar. She felt really energized by the local elections this year and filled out her ballot beforehand, but wanted to come vote in person to be part of the experience and see all the other voters.
South Pasadena, City Hall
No lines or waiting to vote on Nov. 3, 2020.
Today Is The Last Day To Vote. Here's What You Need To Know
It's the day we've all been waiting for -- Election Day 2020.
If you read nothing else, here's the TLDR:
- Polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- You can still register to vote or change your party affiliation. California has same-day registration; just walk into a voting center and you can get it done there.
- Vote-by-mail ballots are due today. If you use the mail, your ballot must be postmarked today in order to be counted. You can also deliver it to a voting center or put it in a vote-by-mail dropbox.
- If you're a procrastinator (no judgment) check out our voter guide for more FAQ's and info on deciding how to vote in local races.
Los Angeles County is already expecting record-high voter turnout – more than 3 million early ballots have already been cast, and we still have a full day of voting ahead.
But, don't hold your breath. After polls close, the actual ballot counting takes time, and we may not have the full picture for weeks. More on turnout and the ballot counting process here, and more on what to expect about the reporting of outcomes here.
For now, we'll be keeping this post updated throughout the day, so keep refreshing for the most up-to-date information about L.A. polling places, local voter turnout, and the much-awaited early returns (as they come in).
L.A. COUNTY VOTE CENTERS
One of the big changes with the 2020 elections is the use of larger, consolidated "vote centers" in many counties in place of traditional neighborhood polling places.
All of these polling places voting centers are open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There, you can get help in multiple languages, replace a lost or damaged ballot, and register to vote or make same-day changes to your voter registration.
Again, if you're not registered, you can still do so and vote today (just note your ballot will be cast provisionally) at any of these vote centers:
HOW WE'RE REPORTING ON THIS
Our KPCC/LAist reporters are spread out at vote centers across L.A. and Orange Counties. They'll be bringing us the most up-to-date information from the field. Producers are also making calls and verifying information as we get it. Elina Shatkin, Ryan Fonseca, and Brian Frank will be keeping this post updated throughout the day. Gina Pollack also contributed to this story, and she and Brianna Lee are monitoring social media channels for news and audience questions.
We fact-check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think the L.A. Registrar's Office, the Associated Press, and NPR). In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.
AT OUR VOTER GAME PLAN YOU CAN FIND:
- Key races we're following in Orange and L.A. counties
- A guide to ballot propositions and special measures
- FAQs about the election and voting-by-mail
- News stories about the election
- Your customized ballot
GOT A QUESTION?
Election Day Food And Drink Deals
Congratulations! You've made it to Election Day 2020. If you voted, whether by mail or in-person, you deserve a reward. Flash your "I Voted" sticker (yes, you get one for voting by mail), and you could score some sweet -- and savory -- deals today.
Fries. Udon. Churros. Desserts. Get hungry — go vote!
Morning Briefing: Election Day, 2020
Good morning, L.A.
Today*, Angelenos are voting on 12 statewide Propositions, the next District Attorney, several City Council and LAUSD School Board seats, dozens of jurisdiction measures – oh, and the next President of the United States. To make sure your ballot is counted, here are some tips from Senior Politics Reporter Libby Denkmann:
In-Person Voters: L.A. has seen huge early voter turnout, but close to a million ballots could still be coming in – which may mean long lines at voting centers. COVID-19 safety measures could make lines appear longer than they actually are, though, so don’t be discouraged. As long as you are in line at a vote center before 8 p.m. today, stay in line! You can also check wait times here.
Mail-In Ballot Voters: We recommend dropping your ballot off in-person or at an official drop box, instead of sending it in the mail. The most common reason ballots are rejected in California is that they’re postmarked after Election Day.
If you drop off your mail-in ballot at a vote center, you don’t have to wait in line. Look for the election worker near the check-in desk who’s accepting mail-in ballots. And don’t forget to sign the return envelope.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and don’t forget to vote.
*Unless you’re one of the millions who have already voted early
Coming Up Today, November 3
Aaron Mendelson continues to follow the record-setting voter turnout.
Elina Shatkin explains why most results for this election, whether local or national, aren't going to be definitively called today.
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The Past 24 Hours In LA
Day of the Dead: Día de los Muertos is different this year, and these altars speak to the unique importance of honoring the dead during such a difficult time.
Coronavirus Fallout: In an exclusive interview with LAist, Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed the importance of federal aid, didn’t rule out another shut-down, and divulged who’s responsible for the mess we’re in. The number of LAUSD students in both middle school and high school receiving D’s and F’s has grown compared to last year.
Here’s What To Do: Udon, burgers, churros – here's where to score some sweet (and savory) deals on Election Day eats. Listen to Herbie Hancock answer the question, "What is hope?,” watch Election at the drive-in, check out some clowns at the Old Zoo, and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.
Photo of the Day
Phillip Verbera, manager of community and voter outreach for the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk with ballots collected from 400 drop boxes around the county.