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Campaign 2013: Turnout Tells a Tale in District 6

Hillel Aron | May 29, 2013

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ShorterD6MapThere’s a great interactive map on KPCC’s website showing citywide voter turnout for every single precinct.

Meant to shine a light on the Mayor’s race, the map is also pretty useful in trying to figure out what happened in the District 6 School Board race.

In essence, the map seems to indicate that precinct-level turnout may have played a larger role than previously understood.

We walked precincts with Antonio Sanchez on the Saturday before the election, starting in the City of San Fernando (where there was no Mayor’s race, and therefore had roughly 4 percent turnout), but later crossed over to the City of Los Angeles. About 15 percent of voters in that precinct cast ballots (not including outstanding ballots yet to be counted).

Monica Ratliff went walking in the Sunland-Tujunga area, close to where she lives. Voter turnout in that precinct was 28 percent. Voters in the area have a long history of being politically engaged — at least compared to the rest of the city.

“We’re very politically active,” said Mark Seigel, President of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council. “We have many people that come out for issues for our community.”

The discrepancy in voter turnout was born out of a confluence of events including a Mayor’s race that did not include a candidate that excited the Latino base like outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as overall low turnout rates that seemed to have affected Latino voters more than it effected white voters.

Although the majority of District 6 voters are Latino, they generally vote in smaller numbers than white voters. In 2009, Nury Martinez defeated her opponent, Louis Pugliese by just 500 or so votes.

Previous posts: Cheers — and ConfusionHow Ratliff Won (& Reformers Lost)Ratliff Scores School Board Upset

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