At nearby Little Bear Park, where parents watched their children play, there were reminders that not everyone was eligible to vote in this largely immigrant city.
Antonio Sanchez, 47, said he is a legal resident but not a citizen. He is troubled by high taxes and the Police Department's now-notorious policy of aggressively impounding cars.
"I just hope that the people who can vote, vote for the right candidates — the ones who will be responsible," he said.
Mario Hernandez, 46, who said he was a legal resident, made a similar point.
"I think there are a lot of people like me who would like to vote but can't," he said. "It would be good to see a change on the council. The city needs it."
Polls officially closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, but at Epoca Restaurant & Hall, a long line of voters remained.
"It's not even like this for presidential elections," said Miguel Ramirez, 46, who was waiting at the end of the line to vote in a city election for the first time.
"You can see that the people, that the city wants a change," he said.
Times staff writers Corina Knoll and Jean Merl contributed to this report.