Tuesday’s Voter Turnout in L.A. May Have Been Lowest Ever

low turnout Los Angeles voting (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Voter turnout for Tuesday’s elections in Los Angeles will likely go down in local history as the lowest ever.

According to the Los Angeles Times, citing Election Day estimates, only 11.45 percent of Los Angeles County’s 5 million voters turned up at the polls on Tuesday.

Incumbent Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti won reelection with 80.9 percent of the vote, while his closest competitor Mitchell Schwartz won 8.2 percent of the vote.

Of the two major measures on the ballot, Measures H and S, only one passed. Measure H will raise sales taxes by another 0.25% and the funding will ostensibly go towards addressing L.A.’s homeless population.

Measure S, which proposed a two-year moratorium in high-end real estate developments, failed.

According to the Times, Dean Logan, the Los Angeles County registrar of voters “expects the final turnout will fall 1 or 2 percentage points below the record low of 17.9% of registered voters in 2009, when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa won reelection.”

Four years ago, when Garcetti first won election to become mayor, just 21 percent of registered voters reportedly cast ballots in the primary race, even though it was competitive. (Wendy Greuel was the other candidate.)

“Turnout in L.A. peaked at 76% in a 1969 runoff, when Tom Bradley was running to become the city’s first black mayor,” notes the Times. “He lost but unseated Mayor Sam Yorty four years later in a rematch.” The publication adds, “Turnout was big again when Richard Riordan was elected mayor in a 1993 runoff, reaching 45% in the aftermath of riots sparked by the acquittal of white police officers for the beating of Rodney King, an African-American.”

California experienced the lowest voter turnout in its history in the November 2014 general election, which registered at just 18.3 percent of voters. That is the lowest turnout the state has experienced overall since November 5, 1946.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz



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