California candidates go to the polls

Candidates around the state are going to the polls to vote - and making sure that the media is there to see them doing so. Politicians always announce when and where they're going to be voting, showing their civic mindedness on election day.

Here is Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina voting, with her husband Frank on the left, voting in Los Altos Hills:

Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown went to vote in Oakland:

(Photos: Justin Sulivan/Getty Images)

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What was your voting experience like?

If you went to the polls today, what did you see? Did everything work well at your polling station? How was the turnout in your area? Let us know your election day experiences in the comments below.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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California turnout might hit record low

Today's election includes the state's most expensive primary ever (the GOP primary challenge between Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman), but voters are seeming less than enthralled.

The Field Poll predicts that although a record 17 million voters are registered, only about a third will vote, lower than the 33.6 who participated in 2006 – and that for the first time, a majority of gubernatorial votes will be by mail.

Why the low turnout?

The poll gives several theories, including:

- Little competition in top-of-the-ticket Democratic races

- More voters registered as nonpartisan, who face more restrictions on voting in party primaries

- No high-profile or controversial propositions

- High voter dissatisfaction

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Voter dissatisfaction could drive polls

Voters are angrier than ever, polling shows. The outcome of today's races may be determined by just who they blame the most.

A poll just out from Washington Post-ABC News shows anti-incumbent feelings reaching a new high, with disapproval directed toward both parties. Only 29 percent of Americans say they plan to vote to re-elect their current representative, even lower numbers than in 1994, when Democrats lost their Congressional majority. At the same time, 60 percent of those polled had a negative view of Republican policies, and only about a third trusted them over Democrats.

This political atmosphere has made for some interesting races in California, where, as the New York Times notes, "the question posed in Tuesday’s elections can be boiled down to which voters find more tolerable: first-time candidates whose deep pockets and campaign accoutrements come courtesy of Wall Street wealth, or career politicians with the patina of experience and the throw-’em-out baggage that comes with it."

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Proposition 16 to decide whether to place new restrictions on public utilities

KPCC's Molly Peterson did a series last week about the debate over Proposition 16:

Part 1: Debate over the proper role of public power drives Proposition 16
Part 2: Utilities' market strategies reflected in Prop 16's political debate

Representatives from both sides also appeared on KPCC's "AirTalk."

Proposition 16, largely fund by PG&E's parent company, seeks to place new restrictions on the way local governments can expand the public utilities they offer. The proposition would require a two-thirds vote of the electorate in order for a public utility to expand service into a new area.

Prop 16 would also likely slow or stop community choice aggregation. As KPCC's Molly Peterson put it in her piece, "A community choice aggregation sets policy for buying or generating power, while using the existing utility's poles and lines at a cost."

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