City elections underwhelm South LA voters

Listen to an audio story from Annenberg Radio News

imageOn election day in Los Angeles, not many people are at the polls.

I went out to four polling stations in South L.A. to find that only the most dedicated residents came out to vote.

“Voting for a mayor in your city is like voting for your president. That’s how important it is,” said 26-year-old Deja Crawford.

Crawford came out to the polling station at Independent Square Library with a long list of concerns for the ballot box. “Jobs, schools, I have a six–year-old son. He’s in the LAUSD schools. I’m concerned about that. The economy. The cutbacks society. The environment. I’m just worried about everything,” she said.

Crawford said she has voted in every local and national election since 2004 and believes everybody should vote. And, she used social media to encourage her community to vote.

But some people missed the message like Joey Gultry, who passed a polling station on his way back from lunch. He didn’t find out about city elections until 9 p.m. Monday night.

“[I found out it was election day from] the security guard in the building, because the doors were closed. And he said they were closed for voting. And I said ‘voting for what?’ And he said ‘the mayor, right,” said Gultry.

Gultry stopped paying attention to local elections because they didn’t answer his concerns. “They’re worried about the 405 freeway and the Endeavor and everything else that they can have and spend millions of dollars on, but our kids are still sharing books,” said Gultry.

Inside the polls, excitement for the city election wasn’t any better. Poll worker Jesse Portillo says only 60 voters came out to the polls at Mount Moriah Baptist Church. And he didn’t expect many more. “There are not a lot of people around because of uninvolvement. People got to work, they have responsibilities. They have a family to take care of,” Portillo said.

I waited at Mount Moriah Church for an hour at lunch time and nobody came.

Polls close tonight at 8 p.m. but for those who forgot will have another chance on May 21.

Speak Your Mind