How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

More attempts to dissuade Latino voters reported

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Outside a polling place today in Bell, Calif.

Two weeks after news broke of an unaired ad campaign urging Latinos not to vote, efforts to dissuade Latinos from the polls have reportedly continued into the eleventh hour.

Election Protection, a polling watchdog group, has told the Associated Press that about two dozen Los Angeles residents have received automated calls in Spanish and printed mailers instructing them not to vote until tomorrow, the day after the midterm election. An official from the group said it's believed that most of the calls and mailers have been received since yesterday morning.

Some voters in Bell, a city in southeast Los Angeles County that is more than 90 percent Latino, reported receiving similar calls recently. Father and son Porfirio and Irving Quijada, both of Bell, said this morning at their polling place that they had received an anonymous voicemail message about two weeks ago urging them not to vote, and that others in their neighborhood had received calls like this, too.

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On the Day of the Dead, remembering the art of José Guadalupe Posada

Photo by TK/Flickr (Creative Commons)

"La Catrina" as part of a monument to Posada in Aguascalientes, Mexico, May 2007

This Election Day happens to fall on el Día de Los Muertos, the day of the dead. Think Mexican has posted an homage to the late Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada, whose skeletal "La Catrina" is synonymous with Mexico's annual celebration of the dead as a part, always, of our lives.

According to tradition, the dead make their annual journey back to the land of the living at this time of year, and are welcomed home with altars laden with food, drink and tokens of what they loved in life.

The observance ends tonight.

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At the polls in Bell, voters are still smarting

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Voters lined up this morning outside a polling place at the Iglesia de Dios church in Bell, Calif.

Is the political corruption that scandalized Bell a few months ago helping drive voter turnout there today?

Poll workers at one of two polling places set up at the Iglesia de Dios church in eastern Bell, a city that is more than 90 percent Latino, said this morning that it was too early to tell if voter turnout was any bigger than in previous election years, but noted that some voters had asked if they could vote for city officials in this general election.

They can't - a recall election for the mayor, vice mayor and one city council member is scheduled for March - but some voters outside the polling places in Bell today were smarting nonetheless. Voters said they were angry over the fiscal mismanagement and inordinately high salaries that landed eight city officials in jail earlier this fall, as well as the city's jacked-up property taxes, the second-highest rate in the county.

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