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Letters: L.A.'s tepid turnout

March 08, 2013
  • A dog waits while owner Deborah Murphy casts her ballot at a polling station at Allesandro Elementary School. The initial voter turnout for Los Angeles was 16%.
A dog waits while owner Deborah Murphy casts her ballot at a polling station… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

Re "16% turnout restarts debate," March 7

The low voter turnout for the city of Los Angeles' primary Tuesday was astonishing and revolting. I am one of the few who showed up at the polls, and I found myself alone in a cavernous room (unless you count my dog). I always vote; if the only contest on the ballot was for hall monitor, I would still vote.

But here's one of the problems: For at least two weeks before election day, I was inundated with robo-calls to the point that I simply stopped answering the phone. My mailbox was stuffed with slick, expensive fliers that did nothing to influence me.

Perhaps people who might have voted were so turned off by the invasion of their space and privacy that they just decided to ignore the whole thing.

Just a thought.

Barbara H. Bergen

Los Angeles

What? Consolidate L.A. city elections with others, save $17 million and make things more efficient? No, that radical concept flies in the face of the most fundamental principles of modern government.

John W. Hazlet Jr.

Pasadena

Maybe the reason so few people bothered to show up Tuesday is because voters are sick of ugly campaigns. The tactics used by some of the candidates are underhanded and offensive. Getting down in the mud and slugging it out with a verbal assault on your opponents seems to be the formula for winning.

Slinging mud is nothing new, but it sure is getting old. It's time to rethink how we treat each other in every aspect of society, because it sure isn't working this way.

Frances Terrell Lippman

Sherman Oaks

I'm a liberal Democrat who lives behind the Orange Curtain in Garden Grove, and I have voted in every local election since 1971. My candidates never win and my political views are mocked, and yet I keep pushing that rock up the hill.

To sit back and merely hope for change won't work. I expect better of my fellow Californians.

Bill Yoak

Garden Grove

For many people, our winter election came too soon on the heels of the big one in the fall. So candidates were eliminated with low turnout. Historically, voter turnout in Los Angeles increases in the spring runoff.

To improve L.A.'s elections, my organization, the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, urges the city to skip the winter primary next time around. Instead, the city should use ranked-choice voting to merge the primary with "instant" runoffs on one election day in the spring.

That, or the city could follow the lead of Oakland and San Francisco (gasp!) and use ranked-choice voting to have city elections on the popular election day in November.

David A. Holtzman

Los Angeles

The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles.

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