Politics

Voters go to the polls in 36th Congressional District election

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) hears testimony from Obama Administration cabinet members during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill April 22, 2009 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) hears testimony from Obama Administration cabinet members during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill April 22, 2009 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Voters go to the polls today in the special election to replace retired Congresswoman Jane Harman. Harman quit two months after her November re-election to head a Washington D.C. think tank.

After Harman walked away from her job, 16 candidates jumped into the race to replace her. Five Democrats, six Republicans, one Libertarian and a Peace and Freedom Party candidate are on the ballot. Three candidates list no party affiliation.

Under California’s new election rules, if no one gets a majority, the top two vote-getters will advance to a July 12 runoff. In the past, the top candidate from each party advanced.

This means two Democrats could end up in a runoff in a district where 45 percent of the registered voters are Democrat and 27 percent Republican. Most other voters declined to state a party preference.

The 36th Congressional District stretches from San Pedro to Marina del Rey. It doesn’t include the Palos Verdes Peninsula but does encompass all of the South Bay beach cities and Torrance. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.