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LA Sheriff Villanueva Believes He Can 'End This All Tonight' With His Single-Digit Lead
Posted June 7, 2022 at 10:52 PM
A close up of Villanueva on the stage, holding a microphone in his hand talking to the crowd. There is a bundle of baloons and campaign signs behind him.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks at his election watching party at Cities Restaurant in East Los Angeles, CA on June 7, 2022.
(Brian Feinzimer

L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a crowd of supporters at his election night party that his campaign anticipates "remaining on top" of ballot results.

You don't get to be sheriff of L.A. County in supporting a failed district attorney like George Gascón. Did I just describe eight other candidates for sheriff?
— Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Villanueva said his campaign has focused on what matters to people, "homelessness and violent crime."

As of 10:31 p.m., results show Villanueva leading the race with 31.47% of counted votes. Candidate Robert Luna closely follows him at 27.17%.

"We're going to keep pushing forward," Villanueva said. "We can end this all tonight. We'll find out soon enough, and you know what, even if it goes up ... I'm built for endurance."

To win a primary outright, a candidate must clear more than 50% of the votes.

Caruso And Bass Celebrate
Posted June 7, 2022 at 10:51 PM

Confetti canons go off at Rick Caruso's election night party.

Night sky is filled with confetti
Primary night watch party for mayoral candidate Rick Caruso was held at The Grove.
(Jackie Fortiér

Karen Bass addresses her supporters. Both mayoral candidates will almost certainly face off in a November runoff.

Padilla — With 57% Of Vote So Far — Is Expected To Top 2 General Election
Posted June 7, 2022 at 10:22 PM

U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla has been projected to advance to the general election in November, according to The Associated Press.

Democratic incumbent Padilla, appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to replace former Sen. Kamala Harris when she was elected vice president, is on the ballot for two separate elections and is sailing to huge leads over his opponents in both.

In the special election to fill the remainder of Harris’ six-year term, which ends in January of 2023, Padilla has 57% of the vote.

Similarly, in the election for a full six-year term, Padilla is winning 57% of the vote over Republican Mark P. Meuser, who has 12%.

LA Sheriff Villanueva Calls Early Results 'A Small Snapshot'
Posted June 7, 2022 at 10:11 PM
Villanueva stands on the stage with a mic in his hand. Baloons are around him.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva stands on the stage at his election night party in East L.A. on June 7, 2022.
(Emily Elena Dugdale

With early results trickling in, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was leading with 31.47% as of 8:44 p.m.

"It's a small snapshot, it’s a big county. Lot more numbers coming in,” Villanueva said.

The sheriff said the early numbers reflected what his campaign was expecting to see.

It’s a new map, everybody gets an absentee ballot so, it is what it is.
— Sheriff Alex Villanueva

According to the L.A. County Registrar, sheriff candidate Robert Luna has received 27.17% of votes so far — trailing closely behind Villanueva.

Family Of Man Killed By Deputies Criticizes Watch Party Location
Posted June 7, 2022 at 9:37 PM
Lighted letters spell Villanueva on a stage with balloon in the green and gold colors of the L.A. County sheriff's department.
The scene at the sheriff's party at Cities Restaurant in East L.A. on June 7, 2022.
(Emily Elena Dugdale

Last year. Robert Garrova reported on the fatal shooting of David Ordaz, Jr. by L.A. County deputies.

David Ordaz, Jr. had a knife and was in the midst of a mental health crisis when a family member turned to law enforcement for help. Now, his family joins a growing movement pushing for an end to armed officers responding to psychiatric emergencies.

Deputies shot and killed Ordaz, Jr. in March 2021. His family has sought answers and changes since then and has sued the department. They were surprised and upset to learn Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who is running for reelection, was holding his watch party at a restaurant where they said Ordaz, Jr. used to work.

Jazmine Moreno, who is Ordaz, Jr.'s former partner and has three children with him, said other people had been killed by deputies within a short distance of Cities Restaurant in East L.A.

It is very, very frustrating. We're very angry... just to hear that they're hosting an event with Alec Villanueva. I can't even put my, my emotions into words really, just very disheartening to know.
— Jazmine Moreno

Asked later in the evening, Villanueva said he had "no idea" that Ordaz, Jr. had worked at the venue.

Scenes From Some Of The Watch Parties
Posted June 7, 2022 at 8:27 PM

Polls Officially Close
Posted June 7, 2022 at 8:05 PM
An illustration that has a sign that says "POLLS CLOSED! But if you're already in line stay in line!!!"
If you were in line by 8 p.m., you're legally allowed to cast your ballot.
(Arantza Peña Popo

Dean C. Logan, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, officially announced vote centers and ballot drop boxes are closed.

Important note: If you are currently in line, you may stay on line to vote.

The statement goes on to say the first election results, expected shortly:

  • Will include all Vote by Mail ballots received and verified before Election Day.
  • The second update will include ballots cast at a Vote Center in the 10-day early voting period.
  • The third and subsequent updates will include ballots cast in-person at a Vote Center on Election Day.

We'll have live results throughout the nightfor both local and statewide contests.

Rick Caruso's Election Party Kicks Off At The Grove
Posted June 7, 2022 at 7:56 PM

On top of half of the mall getting shut down, Rick Caruso has a larger security force than most election night parties.

Sheriff Villanueva Blocks Certain Reporters From Fully Covering His Election Party
Posted June 7, 2022 at 7:55 PM
The scene at the sheriff's party in East L.A. on June 7, 2022.
(Emily Elena Dugdale

At L.A. Sheriff's Alex Villanueva's election party in East L.A., a reporter has been denied access.

Alene Tchekmedyian, an L.A. Times reporter who's investigated the Sheriff's Department, was not allowed to attend Villanueva’s event, according to a email obtained by LAist that was sent to her from his campaign.

Another reporter, Ross Palombo from CBS LA, was initially denied entry but was ultimately able to enter. He is not allowed to speak to Villanueva.

Only About A Fifth Of Ballots Have Been Returned So Far
Posted June 7, 2022 at 7:37 PM
A ballot is being dropped in the slot at an official County of Los Angeles ballot drop box. Only the voter's hands are visible.
A voter drops their ballot at an official L.A. County ballot drop box for the November 3, 2020 election.
(Libby Denkmann

While all registered voters in the state should've gotten a ballot in the mail, a Political Data Intelligence tracker shows fewer than a fifth have been returned.

The number is higher among white voters at 22%, and lowest among Latino voters at just 10%.

Mindy Romero, director of USC's Center for Inclusive Democracy, said racial, ethnic, income and age disparities in voting rates are “incredibly entrenched.”

All of those differences mean that we don't have a representative electorate... the pie of voters in any given election, people actually casting a ballot, is not representative of the population.
— Mindy Romero

Romero says historically marginalized groups — including Latinos and Black people — are less likely to hear from campaigns...leading to an information gap, which affects turnout.

Election Night: LA Sheriff Villanueva's Party Gets Underway
Posted June 7, 2022 at 7:16 PM

The election night event for Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is starting at Cities Restaurant on Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in East L.A. Keep an eye on our blog for details, and follow along with reporter Emily Elena Dugdale on Twitter.

With Graduation And Two Jobs, A Mother Says She Doesn’t Have Enough Time To Vote
Posted June 7, 2022 at 6:28 PM
A portrait of a woman from the waist up who's standing outside. She's smiling at the camera with her phone in one hand.
Imelda Barajas as she stands in line for her son's graduation.
(Mariana Dale

It’s election day in L.A., but voting might not be the first thing on people’s minds.

For Imelda Barajas, who’s from Wilmington, today is her son’s commencement. He’s a 26-year-old biochemist major graduating from Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

“He’s graduating and he's probably gonna get a good future out of it,” she said.

As she stood in line to enter the ceremony, Barajas said between two hospitality jobs, she hasn’t had time to open her mail, let alone fill out her ballot.

I haven't had time ... I work five days full time and part time at another job.
— Imelda Barajas

What To Do If You Can't Get To Your Local Polling Place In Time
Posted June 7, 2022 at 4:57 PM

Help! I’m registered to vote in L.A. County, but I work/go to school far away and I might not get back in time to vote in L.A. What are my options?

We've gotten versions of that question several times today.

Fear not, you've got options. If you have your vote-by-mail ballot with you, you can postmark it from any post office. All ballots postmarked June 7 or earlier will be counted — but make sure that the post office you take it to is still providing June 7 postmarks.

You can also drop your ballot in an official ballot drop box or polling location anywhere in the state, not just L.A. County, by 8 p.m. It will be routed to the correct county.

Something else to bear in mind: If you’re registered in Los Angeles County, you can vote at any vote center in the county. You don’t need to drive back to the vote center closest to where you live.

Find a polling place near you here.

All of the above is also true for voters who are registered in Ventura, Orange, and Riverside counties (or any other Voter’s Choice Act county).

Polls close at 8 p.m. If you’re still in line when polls close, stay there. You can still vote. You just have to be in line at 8 p.m.

Do you have your own burning election question? Submit it, and we'll get back to you with an answer as quickly as we can.

Mixed Results At Pasadena City College
Posted June 7, 2022 at 3:37 PM
A person with a black mask sits with arms crossed at a table
Amber Turner, 26, is an academic coach at Pasadena City College.
(Elly Yu

Amber Turner, 26, is an academic coach at Pasadena City College and had already voted on Tuesday, but she said she knows people who aren't voting because they feel like the system isn’t working.

Analysts have noted that early voter turnout has been low so far, and some reports from vote centers Tuesday suggest the trend might be continuing into Election Day.

Psychology student Agustin Ferretis,18, said he didn't vote because he just felt too busy with work and both spring and summer classes.

"Making that time to research the ballots, and all these people specifically, it's a lot of time that you need to do, and take away from your own day," Ferretis said.

Trouble Voting For Older Cantonese Speakers In Chinatown
Posted June 7, 2022 at 3:10 PM

Organizers with Chinatown Community for Equitable Development said that elders were having trouble early Tuesday getting in-language help in Cantonese with voting machines at the Castelar Elementary School vote center.

Two Cantonese-speaking workers were sent there to help, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office. That followed an assigned election worker who didn't report in at that location, according to the registrar.

People who need in-language help with voting are advised to call the registrar’s multilingual services hotline at (800) 815-2666, then press 3. In a response, they said that they have dedicated multilingual staff available throughout the entire voting period to assist voters with questions or concerns.

Angelenos 'Turn Up And Turn Out'
Posted June 7, 2022 at 2:56 PM
Joyce Hopson stands outside a vote center in North Hollywood.
Joyce Hopson stands outside a vote center in North Hollywood.
(Robert Garrova)

Joyce Hopson's undeterred by reports of low voter turnout — she just voted at the vote center at Strathern Elementary in North Hollywood.

Hopson said that, especially due to serving in the U.S. Army for 34 years, her right to vote feels like an honor and a responsibility. She said that this belief aligns with her fellow Angelenos.

We're very proud citizens, and we do show up for the voting polls," she said. "I know we'll turn up and turn out very proudly.
— Joyce Hopson

Hoping For Better Turnout
Posted June 7, 2022 at 1:30 PM
Woody Linares stands outside of his vote center in Boyle Heights.
Woody Linares stands outside of his vote center in Boyle Heights.
(Robert Garrova)

Woody Linares works on civic engagement at KIPP college prep school in Boyle Heights, where there is a voting center. Linares was on site Tuesday to help out for the school, before he casts his own ballot this evening.

So far, turnout has been slow, which has been hard for him to see.

Obviously, today we're kind of happy that we did see a lot of voters come in, but... how can we find more creative solutions to turn out more voters?
— - Woody Linares

About Those Turnout Numbers
Posted June 7, 2022 at 10:57 AM

One thing to keep in mind as we watch the turnout numbers: California currently has a historically high number of registered voters, accounting for more than 80% of those eligible to vote.

A major factor in this shift has been the state's New Motor Voter Act, which passed in 2015 and automatically registers you to vote — if you are eligible — when you're "completing a driver license (DL) or identification (ID) card or change of address transaction." (Yes, you are also able to opt out.)

At the time it passed, the Public Policy Institute of California predicted:

We find that this law has the potential to significantly alter the demographic composition of the California electorate, making the population of registered voters more representative of the state as a whole. Our estimates also suggest that the new system may rapidly expand the voter rolls, adding more than 2 million new registrants in the first year.

So here's what that looks like in practice:

Page 1 of California Voter Registration
Contributed to DocumentCloud by KPCC Documents (KPCCDocuments (Individual)) • View document or read text

Of course, a bigger denominator with more registered voters means you also need a bigger numerator — more people actually voting — to get the same turnout percentage as earlier elections. That's also something to keep in mind when looking at some of the low early turnout numbers headed into Tuesday's primary.

Ask Us Questions Live On 89.3 KPCC
Posted June 7, 2022 at 9:56 AM

How to listen:

  • Go to our live to our stream
  • Tune your IRL radio to 89.3 FM
  • Ask your smart speaker to: "Play KPCC!"

We'll be taking questions about 10:45 a.m.

Lending A Hand In Case Korean Speakers Need An Assist
Posted June 7, 2022 at 9:29 AM

James An, 41, is president of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles. He came to drop off his ballot and is outside to help Korean-speaking voters find their way to the polls.

A man wearing a blue baseball cap, white face mask and blue jacket with an "I Voted" sticker. He stands in the paved courtyard in front of a grey building.
James An waits in front of the Anderson Munger YMCA in Koreatown to assist people who may need directions to the voting center inside.
(Elly Yu

For a community that's predominantly Korean speaking and Spanish speaking, I noticed inside that there were only two Korean speaking poll workers. So just to kind of maybe assist, I'm kind of standing by outside and just directing folks to the right place.
— James An

'You Experience Democracy'
Posted June 7, 2022 at 9:18 AM
Two people stand side-by-side. One wears an "I voted" sticker.
Jeff Price and Skye Price outside a vote center in Koreatown.
(Elly Yu

Jeff Price, 52, and his 14-year-old son Skye have been coming to vote in person every election since Skye was old enough to help him push the buttons (he's not a fan new digital screens).

Jeff said they prefer voting IRL on actual Election Day.

It's just fun to do and he can see the process. I like to do it in-person instead of just the mail-in [ballot]. It's an experience — you experience democracy.
— Jeff Price

'It's A Long Ballot'
Posted June 7, 2022 at 8:51 AM
Kristen Cunningham, 31, was on her way into a Koreatown vote center Election Day.
Kristen Cunningham voted in Koreatown shortly after the polls opened.
(Elly Yu

Kristen Cunningham, 31, is stand-up comedian who lives in Koreatown and was voting at the Anderson Munger YMCA on Tuesday morning. Cunningham said she prefers to mail in her ballot so she can take her time and do research.

But this year, she forgot to switch her address, and had to show up in person with all her usual resources.

It's a civic duty. I have notes and I have water, I hope that it doesn't take me that long, but it is a long ballot.
— Kristen Cunningham

Polls Are Open In LA County
Posted June 7, 2022 at 8:03 AM
A man in a hat and jacket featuring a keyboard and musical notes points at the picture taker in front of an open gate.
Willie Portela, 59, was among the poll workers getting voting underway Tuesday at the Anderson Munger Family YMCA in Koreatown
(Elly Yu

Happy Election Day to those who vote (which isn't many L.A. County residents so far).

Polling sites and vote centers in the county opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

If you've received your vote-by-mail ballot, get it in a nearby drop box by 8 p.m.

Elly Yu and Paisley Trent are out reporting at voting centers today for LAist. They talked to Willie Portela as he helped get the vote center open at the Anderson Munger Family YMCA in Koreatown. Why is he a poll worker?

First of all, it's my civil duty. Second of all, when you want to see changes and so forth you can't say there are no changes if you haven't stepped out in faith and made changes or at least try to. It's really up to us, right, the voters.
— Willie Portela, poll worker

Ride Free On Public Transit For Election Day
Posted June 6, 2022 at 5:22 PM

It’s Election Day, and that means Los Angeles County’s public transit system is free to ride.

Free trips on L.A. Metro's buses and trains will last until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

We should note that due to service cuts, riders should expect delays. And the Summit of the Americas is causing detours for some lines through downtown L.A.

And here are the locations of those drop-off boxes:

  • Union Station (East Portal)
  • El Monte Bus Station J Line, many local bus lines (plaza area)
  • Harbor Freeway Station C and J Lines (park and ride area)
  • Harbor Gateway Transit Center J Line, many other local lines (transit plaza area)
  • Hollywood/Western Station B (Red) Line, (mezzanine area)
  • North Hollywood Station B (Red) Line, (plaza area outside portal)
  • Norwalk Station C Line, (plaza area)
  • Wilshire/Vermont Station B (Red) and D (Purple) Lines, (courtyard area)

Metro is also offering free 30-minute trips on its bike share network, but you'll need the code in this recent tweet:

It's not just Metro buses — the city of L.A.’s Department of Transportation is also offering free rides today.

Why Can't I Find LA Mayor On My Ballot?
Posted June 2, 2022 at 12:19 PM

This was one of the most frequent questions we got from readers pre-election day. We heard from voters who live in incorporated cities like Glendale and West Hollywood (who have their own mayors) and from people with Los Angeles mailing addresses but who live in unincorporated areas.

Who votes for L.A. mayor?

You must live in the city of Los Angeles to vote in this race. Not sure? Use our Voter's Edge tool to see all the races on your ballot based on your home address.

Page 1 of LA City boundaries
Contributed to DocumentCloud by KPCC Documents (KPCCDocuments (Individual)) • View document or read text

Still Cramming? LA City Voters Can Take Our Meet Your Mayor Quiz
Posted June 2, 2022 at 12:08 PM

As you take the quiz, you’ll be shown which candidates gave the same answer as you to each question. And at the end of the quiz, you’ll find out which candidate or candidates you agree with the most often.

Where's Your Ballot?
Posted June 2, 2022 at 12:04 PM

If you voted by mail or dropped off your ballot, you may be wondering if it made it into the vote being counted. California's Secretary of State makes it easy to check: