Election Day: Candidates vote as turnout expected to be light (Update, Photos)

LAPD officers investigate the shooting of a poll worker at 92nd Street Elementary School. Police say the man was shot by his girlfriend and is expected to survive.
LAPD officers investigate the shooting of a poll worker at 92nd Street Elementary School. Police say the man was shot by his girlfriend and is expected to survive.
Brian Watt/KPCC

Candidates take to the polls on primary day

Voters turned out in small numbers on primary day, but those small numbers did of course include the candidates themselves.

One of the frontrunners, Wendy Greuel, went to vote with her son Thomas by her side. Rival Eric Garceti voted at Allesandro Elementary School in Boyle Heights, along with wife Amy Wakeland.

— KPCC staff

Shooting at Southeast LA polling location was 'domestic incident'

(For the latest update on this shooting, click on our news story here.)

A poll worker is expected to survive after he was shot Tuesday morning near an elementary school that also serves as a polling place in Southeast Los Angeles, according to the LAPD. 

Officers were called at about 9 :40 a.m. to 92nd Street Elementary School on Grape Street, where they found a man who was shot, said police Commander Andy Smith. The man in his mid-30s was taken to the hospital and is reportedly in stable condition.

Smith said the shooting was domestic violence and was not connected to the primary election.

“Coincidentally, it happened at a polling place," Smith said. "It was a domestic type of incident that ended up occurring there.”

Officers were searching for the man's girlfriend, whom they suspect shot the man. (Police are now seeking a male suspect.) Voting was not adversely affected. Voting was moved to mobile polling place set up in the parking lot outside the auditorium.

Meanwhile, school police said that the 92nd Street Elementary School, near where the shooting occurred, has been removed from lockdown.

—Rina Palta and Jose Luis Jiménez

Voters complain of last minute robo calls, mailers in campaign for LA Unified District 4 seat

Poll workers in Mar Vista saw a slow, but steady stream of voters Tuesday morning. This polling location on National Boulevard covers two voting precincts and was set up at Juarez and Associates law firm.

“For the presidential election we were going nonstop. There was always people there, people waiting in line to get in,” said poll worker Mike Abeles. “This one, you pretty much just walk up and vote and you’re done.”

School board candidate Kate Anderson, who’s battling Steve Zimmer in the expensive race for the LAUSD District 4 seat , was one of the first voters to cast a ballot at this location. She stopped by to vote before dropping her twin daughters off at nearby Mar Vista Elementary School.

Mar Vista resident Mark Field, a lawyer, said he knew Anderson was from Mar Vista and had strong support in the area, but his vote went to Zimmer.

“His particular expertise on the school board is much better than hers,” Field said. “I’m not a fan of charter schools at all, so I’m very much opposed to Kate’s position on this particular issue.”

Several Mar Vista voters complained that they’d been barraged with robo calls and campaign mailers leading up the election.

“The literature that’s gone out I think has been really inappropriate,” said Albert Olson, a Mar Vista resident. Olson said his home has been slammed with campaign ads for the past three weeks.

Voter Jim White, a retired professor, agreed. He said he received about 12 robo calls daily.

“It was so bad, I almost didn’t vote,” White said. “It’s offensive to have your phone ring off the hook every single day from the same person giving you a call to vote for them as though you’re not intelligent enough to remember.”

Abeles the poll worker, who seemed to have plenty of time on his hands this morning due to the low turnout, expected the pace of voting to pick up. He said 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. is normally the busiest time of the day.

—Mary Plummer

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Early voters feel lonely at the polls

In the first hours of voting, turnout was low Tuesday morning at two polling places for the city of Los Angeles City Council District 13.

At the Casanova Beauty Salon in Echo Park, Marlon Staggs was among the first people to cast a ballot shortly after the polls opened at 7 a.m. But Staggs only marked the ballot in two races. He said he voted just to support his top choice for mayor.

“That’s the sole reason I came out today,” said Staggs, a television commercial producer, who’s lived in Echo Park since 1983.

He said most people aren’t concerned about voting in municipal elections.

“People assume the city’s going to work. It’s perfunctory,” he explained. “We get up in the morning. We read the paper. The city works. I don’t think people are passionate about mayors.”

RELATED: Vote for LA Mayor: 8 things you need to know on Election Day

Staggs said they’re even less passionate about races for the City Council, city attorney, and city controller, which are also on the ballot.

“I wish more people voted. It’s pathetic in there,” said Jesse Noonan after voting at the Grace Simmons Lodge polling place in Elysian Park.

In the first hour of voting, only about 25 of the more than 1,600 people eligible to vote there had cast a ballot. Noonan, a charter school administrator, said the Mayor is an important elected official and more Angelenos should show up to make their choice.

Education is an important issue to Noonan, but as a new mother of a 7-month old, she’s also concerned about the cracked streets and sidewalks that make it tough to push a stroller around her neighborhood. She said she understood why a lot of people don’t vote.

“I think people feel like politicians are not really speaking for us," Noonan said. "And with the economy, and people’s daily struggles, voting is not the most important thing people can do at 8 o'clock in the morning.”

In Los Angeles’ last competitive mayor’s race between current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Jim Hahn, voter turn out was about 34 percent.

—Brian Watt

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