Politics

In LA County, off-year voter turnout drops

In this file photo, Jeff Thompson holds his 8-month-old son, Tyler, while voting in a previous Los Angeles County primary election at Canyon Springs School's library.
In this file photo, Jeff Thompson holds his 8-month-old son, Tyler, while voting in a previous Los Angeles County primary election at Canyon Springs School's library.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Low voter turnout marked many of Tuesday's off-year local election contests, although large school bond measures, mayorships, city council races and other critical decisions were on the line.

In Los Angeles County, voters narrowly ushered through a bond measure in Compton that will secure $350 million in bonds for local schools. In Walnut Valley, a similar measure narrowly failed.

The measures were decided by fewer than 7,400 voters in both contests combined, according to semi-official results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk early Wednesday morning.

In Compton, the school bond measure required 55 percent to pass, and it edged just past that with 55.83 percent of voters opting in favor of it. 

Voters also approved a Las Virgenes Unified School District measure extending the annual school parcel tax for 12 more years. 

Across the county, the preliminary results from the election show just 9.08 percent of eligible registered voters cast ballots.

That's about 64,000 fewer ballots than cast in the last off-year November election of local and municipal contests.

Los Angeles County has long struggled with voter turnout. Last November, the county had the lowest voter turnout in the state.

A heated race for mayor of El Monte showed incumbent André Quintero ahead of challenger and current city council member Norma Macias by a slim margin — fewer than 40 votes (50.45 percent to 49.55 percent of votes counted).

In Hermosa Beach,  Measure H, which would increase hotel bed taxes from 10 to 12 percent, faced nearly no opposition. The results show that measure passed with nearly 85 percent of the vote. 

In Beverly Hills, which had a tense race for three open seats on its school board, voters selected Isabel Hacker (24.61 percent), Mel Spitz (23.64 percent) and Noah Margo (20.67 percent). The semi-official results show former Beverly Hills High Principal Carter Paysinger was edged out by fewer than 100 votes. Had he won, he would have served as the first black elected official for the city in its history, according to local media.

Claremont's Measure PS, which would have levied a parcel tax on residents in order to fund the creation of a new, much larger police station was defeated with about 75 percent of voters voting no. The measure required a two-thirds majority of votes to pass. 

In San Marino's city council race, where four out of the five candidates campaigned against so-called mansionization, Steven Huang and Steve Talt won two seats, beating out competitors with a margin of more than 10 percent. 

A measure that would have brought a large commercial shopping center to Malibu that was set to be a home for Whole Foods, among other retailers, was defeated. Voters there said no at a rate of 57.31 percent, compared to 46.29 percent of voters who said yes.

For more results, select your county from the list below:

This story has been updated.