Monday, May 25

LA County municipal elections see reduced voter turnout rate

Only 7.5 percent of students registered to vote on the Hill participated in Tuesday's Los Angeles County municipal elections. (Stella Huang/Daily Bruin)

About 6 percent of registered voters in Westwood and on campus voted in Los Angeles County municipal elections Tuesday.

Out of 13,081 registered voters on campus, the Hill, the North Village and Westwood Village, only 810 cast ballots. About 7.5 percent of students registered on the Hill voted.

The county’s total voter participation rate was about 11 percent, down from 21 percent in the 2013 election, in which Mayor Eric Garcetti was elected for his first term. Turnout reached a high of 66 percent in the 1969 primary.

An undergraduate student government coalition called Save UCLA Housing: No On Measure S aimed to increase student voter turnout in the election by campaigning against Measure S.

Rafi Sands, Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president, said the EVP office canvassed for three weeks in three campus locations to educate students about Measure S. He added the office helped register more than 10,000 students to vote for the November general election.

Some students said they heard about the election from canvassers on Bruin Walk or through social media.

Jessica Anguiano, a fifth-year English student who voted in Bell, California, said she saw few people at the polling place compared to the general election. She added her friends promoted Measure H, which passed and will fund homelessness services, as a social justice issue.

Moheimin Khan, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, said he heard about Measure S from canvassers on Bruin Walk two weeks before the election. He submitted paperwork to vote in Los Angeles but found he had registered too late to vote in the March 7 election.

“There was a lot lower turnout (than the general election) even though the (municipal) election has an immediate impact,” Khan said.

Managing editor

Pauker is the managing editor. She was previously an assistant news editor for the City beat and a reporter for the City beat.

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