In East Los Angeles, 116 people had voted by 9 a.m. at El Siloe Apostolic Church. All morning, a steady influx kept the line 10 voters deep at the check-in table.
"This is more people than I've ever seen before," said poll worker Isabel Zamora, an election volunteer since John F. Kennedy was on the ballot for president.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 09, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Bustamante -- The name of the wife of California's lieutenant governor was misspelled in a Section A photo caption in some editions Wednesday. She is Arcelia Bustamante, not Aracella.
In Sacramento, Bustamante conceded defeat Tuesday evening, but his speech was quickly yanked from national television when Schwarzenegger began speaking from Los Angeles.
"We didn't get the rest of the results that we were hoping for, or that we wanted," Bustamante said. "Let me say this: we did not fail. I may not be moving across the hall to the governor's office, but I'm not going anywhere."
It was Bustamante's second speech of the evening. Earlier, he hailed the defeat of Proposition 54, a ballot measure that would have barred state collection or use of many racial and ethnic statistics.
"This is a dramatic victory," he said. "It marks a dramatic turnaround. Finally, California is saying, 'No more wedge politics.'"
The Fresno-area native, who would have been California's first Latino governor in more than a century, went on to thank at length several Indian tribal governments that gave millions of dollars to his campaign and the drive to defeat Prop. 54.
McClintock, at another Sacramento hotel, acknowledged his loss and pledged his "wholehearted support" to Schwarzenegger.
" I believe our campaign acted as the conscience of this election, and we framed the issues upon which this contest was ultimately decided," he told cheering supporters.
Earlier, McClintock, Schwarzenegger's persistent GOP rival, stuck to his tough-fiscal-medicine theme after voting near his Thousand Oaks apartment.
He optimistically cast the election as a watershed for California, a day "when we roll back the taxes and the regulations that are choking off our economy, when we reined in our out-of-control bureaucracy and restored our public works."
In Brentwood on Tuesday morning, Schwarzenegger was swarmed by reporters and camera crews outside the mansion where he and Shriver voted.
"The key thing is to think positive today and hope for the best," Schwarzenegger told the jostling media huddle.
Inside, the former Mr. Universe who struck it rich as a Hollywood action-film hero donned a pair of wire-rimmed glasses to pinpoint "Schwarzenegger" on his punch-card ballot.
"I always look for the longest name," he said.Davis told reporters earlier in the day that he felt "absolutely terrific."
After voting with his wife, Sharon Davis, at a Sunset Boulevard real estate office near their West Hollywood condo, the governor said he was proud of the campaign he ran in an attempt to defeat the recall.
"I think people see the contrast between myself and Mr. Schwarzenegger, and I'm confident of the choice they'll make today," he said.
Davis declined to name the candidate he favored on the second part of the ballot, but implied that he had voted for Bustamante, a fellow Democrat who irked the governor by breaking a vow to stay out of the race.
"I voted for the most qualified person on the second ballot," Davis said. "I think you can probably figure out who that is."
Later, outside Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, Davis invoked classic underdog Harry S. Truman, the Democrat who squeaked past Republican rival Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential race.
Emerging from Mass -- an Election Day tradition for Davis -- with his wife and mother, the governor said it was a "lucky omen" that his priest woke up Tuesday thinking of Truman.
"So we prayed to Saint Jude," Davis said, referring to the patron saint of lost causes, and "to God and asked for his will to be done."
At stake in the election was the most powerful elected office in a state of 35 million people, one beset by traffic-choked freeways, air pollution, racial divisions and a stalled economy.
As the winner, Schwarzenegger will control a sprawling government that spends close to $100 billion a year, but is expected to fall at least $8 billion short of what it needs to sustain public services next year at current levels. The Legislature's heavy reliance on new debt to plug budget holes this year and last is apt to deepen the hole, and chronic political dysfunction in the Capitol is sure to complicate matters further.
Davis was the first statewide elected official in California to face a recall vote. Californians adopted the recall provision of the state Constitution in 1911 as part of Gov. Hiram Johnson's Progressive agenda to curb the power of political bosses and parties. But since then, voters have recalled only local officials and four state legislators.
At the roots of Davis' ouster were the governor's abysmal public approval ratings, which never recovered after plummeting during the 2001 energy crisis.